New guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services recommend adults exercise a minimum of 2 1/2 hours a week for optimal health. That's right, two and a half hours a week. Raking leaves, walking around the block or doing resistance bands seem to count.
Now I do understand that half of all adults are really sluggish and don't get this much exercise. I also understand that getting people to move "a little" is better than nothing at all. But considering all previous studies have shown that for optimal health, an hour a day of aerobic exercise is needed, this seems a little "dummied down". We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic and diabetes crisis and raking leaves is not going to shift the pendulum to the healthy side.
Somehow these new recommendations fit with everything that we are hearing from our government now. Mediocrity is where we are headed. There are no stretch goals being presented. No need to develop new forms of energy ("drill, baby, drill"). No need to pull together as a nation to stop the genocide in Darfur or step up to the plate as a world leader. It's enough keep the economy going by spending money and that tax stimulus refund really helped, didn't it?
I will embrace the leader who asks me to set my vision high and strive for the best. In health, especially, I want the HHS to give me real science on what works and what doesn't. I don't want to just be pandered to; I want optimal health.
Reach for the stars. If you fail you'll still be closer to heaven.