I like to move it, move it. She like to move it, move it. We like to move it, move it. We got to . . . move it! (Come on, sing along! Hah, now it’s stuck in your head.)*
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has published The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report. The guidelines are not much different from the previous version, which suggests the science is still strongly grounded in the notion: move more, sit less. These experts (who are presumably taking their own advice) recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes moderate-intensity activity each week (i.e. brisk walking), or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (i.e. running), or a comparable combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. The guidelines emphasize balanced workouts and recommend an additional two or more sessions of strength training a week.
In case you don’t have a calculator brain, that’s 21-42 minutes/day for the moderate-intensity and 11-21 minutes/day for high-intensity. They didn’t specify the strength training time in the articles I read, but I’m sure it has to be a little more than one set of push-ups or moving a heavy box.
Now, how many people actually do this? The results from the CDC surveys, which vary as far as sample size, but are on average surveying 20,000-30,000 people each year, are not very impressive. In other words, we suck at this. And I don’t even want to guess how many of those surveyed are being 100% honest (on the survey and with themselves) and not just reporting about their first week in January when they are in hot pursuit of their New Year’s resolutions. And what’s up with the men beating the women every year?
The benefits of exercise are so vast, it should be a crime not to participate (or at the very least health insurance should reward it–cha, ching!). Exercise has to be emphasized with everyone, including children and teens. It’s a lifestyle choice that is an investment, both short and long term. Unfortunately, those long term benefits are hard to convince people to consider every day, especially when the time and effort to do this daily has to compete with our busy lives or aches and pains and bad sleep and kids’ schedules and so on. But ultimately it will make a difference between how much time we spend at the doctor’s office or hospital or using a walker or oxygen or checking blood sugars or battling diseases. Not to mention how long we live. So excuses begone, this is a matter of life or death!
Here is the list of benefits of exercise for adults provided by JAMA. I guarantee when you are done reading this list, you will want to at least stand up and do a set of jumping jacks. (pause) I’m doing mine right now. (pause) My kids are looking at me like I’m nuts.
Adults and Older Adults
- Lower risk of all-cause mortality
- Lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality
- Lower risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke)
- Lower risk of hypertension
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- Lower risk of adverse blood lipid profile
- Lower risk of cancers of the bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach
- Improved cognition
- Reduced risk of dementia (including Alzheimer disease)
- Improved quality of life
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced risk of depression
- Improved sleep
- Slowed or reduced weight gain
- Weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake
- Prevention of weight regain after initial weight loss
- Improved bone health
- Improved physical function
- Lower risk of falls (older adults)
- Lower risk of fall-related injuries (older adults)
And Emily, RN’s last bullet point . . .
- Less work for me.
Awesome article: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2712935
*lyrics to Will.i.am song, “I like to move it.”