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Most of us fall short of new federal exercise guidelines

Roughly 80 percent of Americans aren't nearly active enough, study says

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If new fitness guidelines from the federal government are any indication, the vast majority of Americans aren’t getting nearly enough exercise.

The guidelines released Monday call for adults to get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and two days of muscle-strengthening activity a week. They also recommend children get 60 minutes of exercise a day and three days of muscle-strengthening activity a week. 

But, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most of us are falling short of those guidelines. In fact, only 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women and 20 percent of minors are getting the recommended amount of exercise.

Failing to reach those marks has real-life consequences, according to the department’s findings. Researchers found those low levels of aerobic exercise contribute to the nearly $117 billion spent annually on healthcare, plus a tenth of premature deaths.

“The new guidelines demonstrate that, based on the best science, everyone can dramatically improve their health just by moving – anytime, anywhere, and by any means that gets you active,” said Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health.

Examples of recommended aerobic activity include walking at a brisk pace, going for a run or taking a bicycle ride. Some of the common ways people can strengthen their muscles include lifting weights or doing sets of push-ups or body squats.

The health benefits of regular exercise speak for themselves. Adults can lower their risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia and depression, just to name a few. It can also help people keep their anxiety in check, fend off weight gain and sleep better.

So, how does your physical fitness measure up against the rest of the country? Take our Facebook poll below and we’ll have your results coming up on News4Jax at 6.

WEIGH IN: New federal fitness guidelines are out... Do you think you're getting enough exercise? Take our poll and we'll have your results on News4Jax at 6. READ MORE: https://bit.ly/2JY5xnq

Posted by WJXT4 The Local Station / News4JAX on Monday, November 12, 2018

About the Author:

A Florida transplant with Midwest roots, Garrett Pelican is the digital executive producer for News4Jax.