Starting young: Updated exercise guidelines

Health and Fitness, Topics
red shoes running on treadmill

A report announced at an American Heart Association conference offered simple, straightforward advice: exercise.

In a recent study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that only 20 percent of Americans are getting the amount of exercise they need to maintain proper cardiovascular health. This prompted the government to update its physical activity guidelines.

"Creating, and keeping to, a regular exercise routine has benefits that reach beyond body weight and the size of your waistline," said John Silveri, an exercise physiologist and supervisor of the McLaren Macomb Cardiac Rehabilitation. "Getting enough exercise is crucial to good health and aids the body in many ways, not least of which is the benefit it has to cardiovascular health."

Obesity continues to be one of the country's most pressing health concerns, leading to a number of illnesses and chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and an increased risk for stroke.

And with obesity also a growing concern among children, the updated exercise guidelines (for the first time) have recommendations for those as young as 3 years old.

3- to 6-year-olds
Encourage to be active and participate in physical play for at least 3 hours each week.

6- to 17-year-olds
One hour of at least moderate activity each day "“ aerobic or cardiovascular exercise with muscle-training three times a week.

18 and older
Two-and-a-half to five hours of moderate activity, or one hour and 15 minutes to two-and-a-half hours of vigorous exercise, with at least two days of muscle-training.

Older adults
Exercises should include balancing exercises to help avoid falls, and they should remain as active as much as they can.

To learn more about how McLaren Macomb Cardiac Rehabilitation can help maintain cardiovascular health, call (586) 493-3354.