The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is published jointly every 5 years by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Guidelines provide authoritative advice for people two years and older about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases. The 2005 edition of the Guidelines was released on January 12, 2005.
Here are the key recommendations for physical activity for the general population:
• Engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.
• To reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood: Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, at work or home on most days of the week.
• For most people, greater health benefits can be obtained by engaging in physical activity of more vigorous intensity or longer duration.
• To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy body weight gain in adulthood: Engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week while not exceeding caloric intake requirements.
• To sustain weight loss in adulthood: Participate in at least 60-90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding caloric intake requirements. Some people may need to consult with a health care provider before participating in this level of activity.
• Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance.
Note: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 contains recommendations for specific populations. The full document is available at www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines.