The new exercise and physical activity guidelines issued by the US federal government’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion are better tailored for age and ability. Importantly, they also now take into consideration the intensity of activity, and not just a blanket generalisation of "moderate activity". This is the biggest difference which will most change the potential impact of the new guidelines as compared to the old.
This move to recognise intensity is a very useful change. Previously the recommendations focused people on spending a certain amount of time exercising, including the caveat that spending less than 10 minutes at any one time was not worthwhile. The new guidelines base your dose of physical activity on relative intensity: how much effort a given exercise takes compared with your capacity for exercise. They also recognise that short bouts of exercise can be useful - "what really is important is the total amount of physical activity you accumulate during the day and the week".
Personally I think that the recognition of intensity of exercise is well overdue, for at least the following reasons:
That is one reason I developed my Nine Levels of Fitness - to illustrate the progression from Activity to Exercise to Training and beyond. This progression requires intensity. It is nice to walk with the dog every day, and all activity and movement is good. But, the effect on your fitness, lifespan and body age is minimal unless you progress up the scale. My levels progress from:
To build stamina you need to move to a level of training, where you develop your body awareness and place healthy stress on your muscular and cardiovascular system. As you train at higher levels of intensity, you can achieve better results in less time than at lower levels, and also build a higher resting metabolic rate.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter