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What Do the New 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Mean for You?

June 4, 2019. The Department of Health and Human Services describes several “major findings,” which offer an important clue. The report says that not only does physical activity help prevent disease, but it also offers other benefits like better sleep, better functionality, and just generally feeling better! 

By Brian Housle, MS, M.ED, EP-C, Manager, Wellness and Rehabilitation at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center

Physical activity is good for us.  But sometimes it feels more rewarding to watch TV, play video games, or just take a nap! There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, but it’s also important to stay active to maintain good health. But what does that mean for you?

Towards the end of 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 2018 version of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition. This update to the original 2008 report provides information on exactly how much activity should be integrated into a week. This post will be the first of a series of blog posts to review these new findings. 

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Here are just a few ways that physical activity can help people feel better:

  1. Moderate to vigorous physical activity will help reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, improves the quality of sleep time, and makes waking up in the morning easier. Along with these sleep benefits; physical activity can reduce daytime sleepiness.
  2. Single episodes of activity assist in executive function. Executive function involves the way people organize their days and plan future tasks, control emotions, and use other cognitive processes like memory and academic skills.
  3. Even moods can be clinically improved with activity! Physical movement reduces the risk of depression, and can reduce the severity of symptoms for those with or without clinical depression. Anxiety, both chronic and acute, is reduced through physical activity.  

The benefits of moving physically are accessible to everyone, regardless of age or level of health.

In general, overall perceived quality of life is improved by moving physically. When people move, they have energy, suffer less from fatigue, enjoy recreation, and we have the satisfaction of knowing their bodies are strong and stable and less likely to be injured from daily tasks. These benefits are accessible to everyone, regardless of age or level of health!

You May Also Be Interested In:

Five Tips on How to Take Control of Your TV Habit

More is Not Always Better and Other Fitness Myths

10 Ways to Drink More Water

In upcoming blog posts, look for more specific information on the recommendations. Meanwhile, enjoy your time on your couch, but also plan time to move! Your body, mood, and memory will be grateful you did. 

The Duke Diet and Fitness Center is the world’s only residential-style weight-loss program integrated within an internationally renowned academic medical center. For 50 years, our unrivaled, comprehensive healthy approach, tailored to individual needs, has helped people achieve sustainable weight loss and transform their lives.* For more information, visit www.dukedietandfitness.org

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* Individual results may vary

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With more than 40-year years of experience in delivering wellness and weight loss programs, the Duke Diet and Fitness Center has established itself as one of the leading weight loss and total body health destinations for health conscious individuals seeking a residential style health program focused on natural weight loss.

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