Reflections on the Updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
"Let’s stop prescribing exercise to achieve some idealized standard and, instead, offer a menu of activities that help people learn to savor movement as an inherently enjoyable aspect of daily life." - Michelle Segar, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S., and Martin Gibala, Ph.D.
In a new commentary for the American College of Sports Medicine, Dr. Michelle Segar (IRWG Research Scientist & SHARP center director) and Dr. Martin Gibala (McMaster University) propose a new metaphor for thinking about physical activity: a movement menu. Based on newly released Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG), in which "bouts of a prescribed duration are not essential, and even short episodes or small amounts of physical activity are beneficial," a movement menu allows individuals to tailor their physical activity choices to what works best for them.
While Dr. Gibala's research recommends high intensity interval training, and Dr. Segar's approach is based on low-pressure, sustainable movement strategies, the scholars agree upon "a shared underlying approach to promoting physical activity—when it comes to sustaining exercise, people need to make their own choices about what they do based on their preferences and lifestyle needs."