The Department of Health in Australia has just doubled the exercise guidelines from 150 minutes a week to 300 minutes – and I don’t agree with the changes.
At face value, the new recommendations look good – they are based on the latest research and include high intensity interval training (HIIT) as well as strength training twice a week, both of which are absolutely vital to include in your weekly exercise regime.
However, can you really see yourself exercising for 300 minutes a week?
That’s 5 hours…
I have trouble convincing some people to exercise for even just half an hour a week…never mind 5 full hours.
The guidelines also recommend that you minimise the amount of time spent sitting and break up the periods spent sitting as much as possible. I believe that this should actually be the focus of the guidelines.
It’s not enough to sit on your bum all day and try to make up for it with a 30 minute walk after work.
What I’d like to see is the guidelines turned around.
What if the Department of Health recommended that we don’t spend more than 5 hours a week being sedentary?
While I’m grateful that Australia is leading the way with their new exercise guidelines being world first, I’m not convinced that these changes are enough to affect the increasing rates of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
If you lead a sedentary life sitting at your desk all day at work trying to meet deadlines, and then when you come home from work you are too exhausted to do anything except sit on the couch eating dinner, watching tv and sitting on facebook, instagram and twitter – the likelihood of you fitting in 5 hours of exercise into your week, is not very high.
I wish the guidelines would encourage eating more fresh vegetables, lean proteins and good fats as these are really what will decrease your chance of becoming obese.
*Photo taken from The Department of Health new Guidelines Booklet