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New Physical Activity Recommendations for Patients & Medical Professionals

Aug 20, 2007

From the American Heart Association and the American college of sports medicine, comes new recommendations for physical activity, which also includes resistance exercise. These recommendations are not just for patients, but for medical professionals as well.  Here’s what you and your patients need to know about the new physical activity recommendations:

  • Five days or three days – take your pick.  Your patients should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderately intense activity for five days a week, or 20 minutes of vigorously intense activity at least three days of the week. (Not sure of the difference; see below).
  • Your patients can still break up activity into smaller amounts. But remember it has to be at least for 10 minutes (No, 2 minutes of taking out the trash doesn’t count!). So walking for 10 minutes, shoveling for 12, and riding their bike for 10 and they’ve reached the goal!
  • Your patients don’t have to stop at 30 minutes! Doing more than the minimum is going to provide even more health benefits and always encouraged
  • There is a difference between aerobic exercise and resistance training. Even though mixing in some muscle strengthening exercises as part of their routine is part of this new recommendation, remember that this doesn’t count as their daily physical activity.

Refer your patients to the Game Plan For A Healthy Life today to get them started on the 12-week physical activity program.
Sometimes it can be hard to know what your patients are doing – is their activity considered vigorous or moderate? Here is the scoop.

  • Vigorous Activity is when you feel challenged by the activity, and when your breathing is hard enough so that conversation becomes difficult and broken. Just think of jogging, swimming continuous laps, or riding a bike uphill, which causes rapid breathing and a faster heart rate.
  • Moderate Activity is a little bit less than vigorous, where you can speak but you feel you are exerting your self and making an effort. Just think of activities like walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming, or bicycling on level terrain. 

Want more information on the difference? Download a chart which outlines all the activities and defines whether they are moderate or vigorous.  Check out the official report here.


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