There's been a major update to the National Physical Activity Plan

By Samantha Lefave
Updated: November 22, 2016

Last week the U.S. government officially made new recommendations regarding sodium intake, and now they're back with updated suggestions for their National Physical Activity Plan. While a lot of it looks pretty standard, there was one change that caught our eye: the exclusion of the word "exercise."

The new recommendations aren't saying you shouldn't move, though. They're simply noting that instead of pushing you to exercise in isolation (so, hitting the gym for an hour), they want you to incorporate physical activity into your day-to-day lifestyle. (Psst...Here are 30 Ways to Burn 100+ Calories Without Even Trying.)

The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA) sums up their overall vision on their site: "One day, all Americans will be physically active, and they will live, work and play in environments that encourage and support regular physical activity."

The suggestions make sense, as research has shown that working out isn't enough if you still sit for most of the day (think: eight or more hours in an office chair), and prolonged sitting increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by a staggering 90 percent. Not to mention physical inactivity is the fourth-leading risk factor for death around the world, according to the World Health Organization. Setting reminders on your phone to get up and walk around every hour, going to talk to a colleague instead of emailing, and even investing in a standing desk are all options that help keep you more active throughout your day to counteract the effects of sitting too long.

That said, these new sets of guidelines are recommendations that could potentially help curb America's obesity epidemic and get the majority of people into a better state of health. But if you have a goal, like PRing at a half-marathon or conquering a mud run, incorporating training sessions into your week is still your best bet.


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