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"If you do it more intense, you can do less time," explained Kraus, who praised the guidelines for offering that flexibility. "This brings it back down to earth for a lot of people."
What's the right kind of exercise? The guidelines advise:
You don't have get all the activity at once. A walk for an hour three days a week works as well as, say, a 30-minute exercise class on weekdays or saving most of the activity for a two-hour Saturday bike ride.
For aerobic activities, go at least 10 minutes at a time to build heart rate enough to count.
You should be able to talk while doing moderate activities but not catch enough breath to sing. With vigorous activities, you can say only a few words without stopping to catch a breath.
Children's daily hour should consist of mostly moderate or vigorous aerobic activity, such as skateboarding, bike riding, soccer, simple running.
Three times a week, children and teens must include muscle-strengthening activities -- sit-ups, tug-of-war -- and bone-strengthening activities such as jumping rope or skipping.
Adults should do muscle-strengthening activities -- push-ups, weight training, carrying heavy loads or heavy gardening -- at least two days a week.
These are minimum goals, the guidelines note. People who do more will see greater benefits.
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