It often feels like we are being constantly bombarded with new information and advice regarding our health and the health of our families. Even worse, sometimes the advice that we get seems to be contradictory and so we can’t follow through on it even if we want to.
Despite this, we are all well aware of the necessity of maintaining our physical fitness and most of us are eager to do so even if we aren’t quite sure how. For parents with children, especially young children, it can feel almost scary having so much different advice offered to you and having to decide what’s best for your family.
When in doubt, the best place to turn is to the health.gov website, where all the official guidelines can be found. Below are some of the most important public health guidelines that you need to know for you and your family.
Getting the right amount of exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, no matter how healthy your diet might be it is all for nothing if you do not exercise as well. It has already been shown that regular activity and exercise in children and adolescents carries with it numerous benefits. It not only makes them happier and healthier now; it greatly reduces their chance of mental health issues later in life.
The guidelines for children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 17 state that they should ideally take part in at least one hour of aerobic physical activity per day. Suitable activities include running, cycling, and dancing. Children should also incorporate strength and muscle training into their exercise.
For adults, it is advised that they get as much exercise as they are able too, but at a minimum, you should be aiming to exercise moderately for two and a half hours each week, and vigorously for an hour and 15 minutes.
Perhaps the most contentious issue in the public health debate is that of dietary guidelines, how they should be decided, and the most realistic ways of implementing them. It is estimated that as many as 117 million adults in the US have a preventable disease resulting from poor diet.
The US government advises, through a number of agencies, that citizens aim to eat as varied and balanced a diet as possible and that they avoid excessive amounts of sugar and fat. Studying for a master of public health will give you an in-depth understanding of how public health guidelines are devised. The ability to study a masters in public health online means that you can study part-time and at your own pace.
Another key component of a successful public health policy is ensuring health literacy among the population. Health literacy refers to how well the average citizen understands what they need to do to maintain their health and that of any children or other dependents.
If you are worried about your health literacy then there are a number of places online where you can find various guides to healthy eating and appropriate exercise routines.
Public health guidelines can provide advice and reassurance to parents and individuals who are unsure about how to best manage their health on a day-to-day basis.