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New Physical Activity Guidelines

Any amount of physical activity — even two minutes’ worth — can add up to huge benefits for your immediate and long-term health, according to the new edition of the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Previously, the guidelines held that unless physical activity lasted 10 minutes or longer, it didn’t count toward a person’s recommended weekly activity goals.

The first edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines came out a decade ago, in 2008.  The new edition also highlights a broader array of short- and long-term benefits from physical activity, all based on scientific evidence.

The guidelines now recommend that children aged to 5 be active throughout the day to enhance growth and development — at least three hours a day. Kids aged 6 through 17 are recommended to have at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

Pregnant and postpartum women should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, while older adults should add balance training on top of their aerobic and muscle strengthening activities, the guidelines say.

“You need to get out and be active, whether you’re a child or an adult, whether you’re a pregnant woman, whether you have chronic disease — there’s no group that isn’t affected by these guidelines,” said Handberg, a member of the American College of Cardiology’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.

Read more.

New: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Dietary-GuidelinesThe 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released last week.  The guidelines, which are revised every five years, are based on evolving nutrition science and serve as the government’s official advice on what to eat. One concrete change: Americans are being told to limit sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories.

Here’s a comparison of the added sugars that the average American eats with how much they should be eating, according to the most recent guidelines:

sugars-chartKey Recommendations

Consume a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level.

A healthy eating pattern includes:

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Oils

A healthy eating pattern limits:

  • Saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

Additional recommendations include:

  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats
  • Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium
  • Meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
 Click here for additional information on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans