GuidelinesPhysical Activity Guidelines for Americans offer guidance on how children and adults can improve their lives by making physical activity a part of their regular routine. The guidelines are based on the latest science and take into consideration needs we have at different stages of our lives.
Regular physical activity helps children and adolescents to be healthier now and lowers their risk of chronic disease. They are also more likely to become healthy adults.
Youth ages 6-17 should get 60 minutes or more physical activity each day. This should include aerobic activity, such as running, dancing, and biking and they need vigorous-intensity activity at least 3 days a week. Muscle strengthening is also important. Climbing trees, using playground equipment, and lifting weights develops muscle strength. Running and jumping rope will help strengthen bones, which is also recommended.
Variety is key. Help children find activities they enjoy and are right for their age.
Physically active adults are less likely to develop many chronic diseases than those who are inactive. Unfortunately, less than one half of Kansas adults meet minimum recommendations for physical activity.
Do aerobic activity – something that stimulates your heart rate and breathing rate. The minimum recommendation is 150 minutes each week of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, OR 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity, such as jogging or swimming laps. Do the activity in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and spread the activities out through the week if possible.
For even great health benefits, increase the amount of activity to 5 hours of moderate intensity. Doing more leads to greater health benefits, and some activity is always better than none.
Add strengthening exercises, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, on 2 or more days each week. Choose exercises that work all major muscle groups.
Regular physical activity is essential for healthy aging, and adults 65 and older are typically the least physically active of any age group. Benefits from regular activity will continue to occur throughout their lives. Adults age 65 and over who have no limiting chronic conditions and are basically fit should follow the same guidelines as those mentioned above for all adults.
For adults aged 65 and older who are fit and have no limiting chronic conditions, the guidelines are the same as those for all adults.
Older adults that have chronic health conditions, and cannot do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, should be as active as abilities and conditions allow. If they are at risk for falling, they should do exercises that maintain and improve balance. Always consult a health care professional before starting or increasing any exercise routine.
Some local K-State Research and Extension offices are offering a class designed to increase strength and improve balance in older adults called Stay Strong, Stay Healthy.