The World Health Organization wants you to move. WHO has released new guidelines for physical exercise that include getting at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week.
Previous guidelines were aimed at healthy adults between the ages of 18 to 64, but have been expanded to include people with medical conditions and disabilities, as well as those over the age of 65.
According to CNN, being overweight and obese increases the risk of severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19.
“Being physically active is critical for health and well-being,” said WHO Director-General and biologist, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus. “Every move counts, especially as we manage the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all move every day — safely and creatively.”
The new recommendations suggest that children engage in at least an hour of exercise daily, including both moderate and vigorous physical activity. Some examples include biking and jogging, along with strength training to build muscle, experts told CNN, who added that children are more likely to be physically active if parents make the activity fun.
Professor Craig A. Williams, the director of Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre at the University of Exeter, says that children and adolescents prefer to participate in fun activities with their friends and enjoy new challenges. He told CNN that parents should encourage kids to find a sport that makes them breathe hard and sweat.
For adults, WHO recommends getting between 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate aerobic activity, and at least 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise, each week to reduce the risk of early death and chronic diseases, according to CNN. The new complete guidelines include suggestions for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, as well as pregnant women.
Williams said it is “good to see WHO advocating for this, but recognizing that physical activity is such an important marker of health and wellbeing might help to embed its importance to society, not just medically, but economically and culturally.”
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