1 in 5 Americans getting recommended amounts of exercise

Published May 16, 2013 at 05:00AM

Only about 20 percent of American adults meet both the aerobic and muscle strengthening components of national physical activity recommendations, according to a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggests that adults get at least 2.5 hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as walking, or 1.25 hours of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as jogging. Guidelines also recommend that on two or more days a week, adults do muscle-strengthening activities such as pushups, situps, or other strength training.

The report, based on phone surveys conducted by state health departments, found that nationwide, nearly 50 percent of adults are getting enough aerobic activity and about 30 percent get the recommended muscle-strengthening activity. Only 20 percent do both.

The report found differences among states. The West (24 percent) and the Northeast (21 percent) had the highest proportion of adults who met the guidelines. Women, Hispanics, older adults and obese adults were all less likely to meet the guidelines.

— Anne Aurand, The Bulletin

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