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Physical Activity Guidelines for Good Health

Studies show that most American adults don’t get the recommended amount of weekly activity. This can be a result of busy schedules or simply a lack of desire. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans as posted on health.gov suggests that without adding physical activity to an inactive lifestyle, the risk of obesity and disease is greatly increased. The good news is that by understanding a few recommendations, adding a small amount of daily activity can significantly improve health and wellness. Let’s take a look.

What qualifies as “physical activity?”

In general, physical activity refers to any type of movement. Any movement, no matter how small that may be, burns calories and enhances health. The amount and intensity of the movement, however, is broken into two categories: baseline activity and health-enhancing activity.

  • Baseline Activity. By simply going through the daily routine, most people are getting some sort light physical activity. Standing, walking, and carrying the groceries are all considered this type of activity. Although it’s important to increase your baseline activity to improve health, it’s not as easy to measure as the next type of physical activity.
  • Health-Enhancing Activity. The Physical Activity Guidelines suggest that health-enhancing activity is an activity that produces health benefits. Running, weightlifting, and yoga are considered to be examples of this type of activity.

Increasing both types of activity can promote better health. Here are a few way to increase your daily baseline activity:

  • Parking your car in the furthest parking spot to increase the walking distance.
  • Standing, as opposed to sitting while working.
  • Taking a short walk during breaks at work.

The Four Levels of Activity. Aerobic physical activity can be broken into four main categories based on the amount of activity beyond baseline activity that you get each week. These four categories are:

  • Inactive: No activity beyond baseline activity. This is considered to be unhealthy and can be counterproductive to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Low: Less than 150 minutes per week. Many people fit into this category. Even 15 minutes of daily activity is a good start and can promote positive health benefits.
  • Medium: 150–300 active minutes per week. An increase of physical activity into this range, many people notice a substantial boost in overall health, metabolism, and fitness.
  • High: Over 300 active minutes per week. Studies suggest that health benefits continue to improve with the increase in activity.

Historically, experts have suggested striving for 30 minutes of health-enhancing activity, 5 days per week for a weekly total of 150 active minutes. However, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans now says that the benefits may not change if you were to instead get 50 minutes of physical activity 3 days per week. With that being said, how one splits up their suggested 150 minutes of physical activity per week may not make a noticeable difference, which is great news for people with busy or inconsistent schedules.

There is no doubt that increasing physical activity promotes better health and wellness. Also, adding a natural supplement from InterHealth into one’s routine can pose a variety of health benefits including increased metabolism, improved respiratory health, healthy mood levels, and weight loss. Learn more about adding the InterHealth lineup of proprietary formulas and incredible benefits to your products on our website or call 1-800-783-4636.

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