If you’ve been looking for a reason, or perhaps a good resource, that will motivate you to increase your physical activity or help you lose weight, now is the time to take heed of the new fitness and health regulations that were recently released by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This set of recommendations, which was recently updated after having been last updated about 10 years ago, gives you a basic framework to aim toward when you are determining how much exercise you need on a weekly basis. If you need assistance with understanding and achieving these goals, The Woman’s Clinic also provides support through our Healthy Me program in order to guide you in the right direction.
What Are The Guidelines Recommended By The HHS?
One of the interesting things about the HHS recommendations is that they focus strictly on what you should be doing with your body and not specifically how much you should weigh. However, if you follow the guidelines and couple them with a healthy diet, you should see a drop in your weight and BMI if you’re considered overweight or obese, and an improvement in your current health if you are already in the proper weight range.
The recommendations include guidelines for children as young as 3, all the way through for older adults, including guidelines for women who are postpartum or pregnant, adults with chronic health conditions, and adults with disabilities. The guidelines suggest that all kids age 3 through 5 should engage in physical activity throughout the day and not rely on sedentary activities for entertainment. Once children reach age 6, following through to age 17, they should aim for one hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity every day, including muscle strengthening tasks at least 3 days a week, in addition to cardiovascular activities.
Once you reach adulthood, you should shoot for 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week. These should be a combination of both cardiovascular and muscle-strengthening activities. Women who are pregnant or postpartum should aim for the lower end of the 150-minute goal, with the exercise being spread throughout the week. However, if you were already heavily physically active, you should be able to engage in the same type of exercise routines as you were prior to getting pregnant, as long as your healthcare provider approves. Additionally, older adults or those with disabilities or chronic health issues should consult their healthcare providers to determine what works best for them but should aim to also reach the 150 minutes per week goal.
Why Should I Worry About My Weight?
There are a multitude of reasons you should be concerned about your weight, especially if you’ve been seeing the numbers on the scale creep up over time. Being overweight or obese raises your risk of a number of health problems. Being overweight puts you at a higher risk for many types of cancer, heart disease, blood pressure problems, high cholesterol, stroke, difficulty breathing, arthritis and joint pain. Carrying too much weight can also affect your digestion, increasing your risk of or reflux, diarrhea, heartburn and chest pain.
It can be tempting to become complacent at a particular weight, especially if you don’t fall into the category of being obese, but there are studies showing that even a small percentage of weight loss can be beneficial to your overall health. Sometimes starting with a smaller number can be more motivating and easier to imagine than starting off wanting to lose a significant amount of weight.
What Is The Healthy Me Program?
If one of your goals this upcoming year is to increase your quality of life through a healthy combination of exercise, weight loss, and proper nutrition, look no further than the Healthy Me program at The Woman’s Clinic. We like to focus on the entire package of overall good health and not just the numbers on the scale. We have a registered dietitian here to help you understand the relationship between what you eat and your overall health. This nutrition, combined with a monitored exercise routine, can put you in the right place to start seeing specific achievable goals. Make an appointment with us today to learn more about the program and understand how it can benefit you.