Physical activity guidelines
  • The United States of America has played a very crucial role in the fitness industry.In order to combat against obesity USA started giving physical activity guidelines for all the citizens. These guidelines are also followed by many countries of the world and India has been no exception to this. USA first came up with their set guidelines back in 2008.In the last decade the outcomes of these guidelines was not as promising as expected.Physical activity guidelines
    So to continue the combat USA released the second edition of their physical activity guidelines on, Monday 12th November stating that
  • Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.
  • For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.
  • Additional health benefits are gained by doing physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
  • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

In the second edition of these guidelines, we are now seeing a paradigm shift towards High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) a very popular method among fitness enthusiasts all over the globe.

According to the American Council on Exercise, HIIT tend to last no longer than 30 minutes. You can also create and perform a HIIT workout virtually anywhere since you can mix and match a variety of body weight exercises to create a routine.

The method is so flexible, time efficient and friendly on pocket that it encourages anyone or everyone to go for it.

Talking about the benefits of HIIT, now people don’t have to engage in hours of steady state monotonous exercises to reap the same health benefits. HIIT can effectively improve cardio respiratory fitness (increase VO2 max) in adults with varied body weight and health status. This type of exercise can also help with insulin levels, blood pressure, and body composition.

As a popular saying goes, benefits have to be earned.So, to get the benefits according to these guidelines,

A person must engage in these short bursts of physical activity often and spread them throughout the week to get optimal health benefits. Sedentary people should get up and move for 2 minutes for every half hour they sit.
It is also noted that longer or more intense activity sessions may be needed if someone isn’t moving around often enough.

All things said and done, these guidelines might be great to the get the people ‘moving’ towards a much healthier future, but we must stop for a second and think, that one size does not fit all. Now let’s see these guidelines in Indian perspective.

Our society and culture are totally different than that of the United States. Our diet and day to day routines are totally different from theirs.

The biggest challenge the majority of the Indian youth and young adults facing is being royal prince or princess. They hardly move even to grab a glass of water for themselves. With such a lavish lifestyle, how can we expect them to adopt HIIT. My very first advice to teens and adults is that they should move more and sit less throughout the day. Gone are those days when only apple solved the purpose of our well-being. Now, a brisk walk a day will help in keeping the doctor away. In this they must try to target 2.5kms in 30 minutes every day. To feel accomplished, they must target this timing in a period of 20-30 days. As their speed increases, they can start adding HIIT workout sessions of short durations of 10 minutes to start with and further progress as their fitness levels improve.

There idea is to start with the basics. Progress from a walk, to a brisk walk and to finally workout. Walking activity is so simple and natural that a person no matter how busy, fit or sedentary they are, can easily incorporate this into their daily lives.

Once the people progress to the workout phase the following can be implemented,

  • They should engage in a moderate intensity (when you are not very comfortable to recite a simple nursery rhyme couple of sentences in one breath) workout 5 days a week in which the bout lasts for 45 minutes
  • When in a crunch of time, sticking to a vigorous intensity workout will work wonders. Make sure you engage in 2-20-0 minutes bout of high intensity interval training for 3-4 days a week (HIIT targeting all major muscle of the body.
  • Life will become even enjoyable with by engaging in physical activity for more than 300 minutes in a week, be it moderate intensity or vigorous or a combination of the two.

For all those folks who are wondering, how to get started on a HIIT program, we’ve got you covered. Here is a sample program for you. 20-Minute HIIT Workout is designed to maximize your caloric burn, so you should expect this workout to feel challenging. You’ll go through five moves that focus on full-body exercises. Try to do as many reps as possible during each 45-second interval, then rest for 15 seconds before repeating.

HIIT Workouts: 20-Minute HIIT Workout for Beginners
3 rounds, 45 seconds work, 15 second rest.
1. Push-ups.
2. Squats.
3. But Kicks.
4. Side Lunges.
5. Triceps Dips.

More quick tips for stayingactive

  • Always take the stairs.
  • Walk in between work hours.
  • Wall squat hold or Chair pose for 30 seconds for every 45 minutes that you’ve been seated.
  • Walk to the pantry to get water rather than asking for it.
  • Tone your legs, by engaging your thighs by extending your legs occasionally and doing ankle rotations.
  • Sit in perfect posture.
  • Do inhaling exercises.
  • Do shrugs every 45 mins when you’ve been typing for a long time to keep the neck as mobile as possible.

Incorporating these guidelines into our lives can be done easily even when we are at work or at home.

When at home,no one likes doing chores, but the truth of the matter is that you can turn routine chores into exercises, totally crushing the Excuses you make for sitting idle or being social on these social networking apps.

Cleaning the house, carrying laundry up and down stairs, and hauling heavy grocery bags inside all count, and since you have to do it anyway, you may as well reap the body benefits while you’re at it.

A lazy person is a burden on all living and non-livings in the universe.

We hope that these guidelines will get more people up and active because it is our responsibility towards the society to make the people of our great nation fitter so that they can contribute their part towards a better and a healthy future.

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Krishna, Graduate in Commerce; ACE PT,Nutrition, Boot Camp & Rehab Certified Professional with more than 4 years of experience in Fitness Industry. He started his career as personal trainer. Climbing up the ladder he moved to the role of transformation specialist and faculty. He is currently working as content developer for Fitness Matters Academy for new courses.

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About Krishna

Krishna, Graduate in Commerce; ACE PT,Nutrition, Boot Camp & Rehab Certified Professional with more than 4 years of experience in Fitness Industry. He started his career as personal trainer. Climbing up the ladder he moved to the role of transformation specialist and faculty. He is currently working as content developer for Fitness Matters Academy for new courses.
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