The type and amount of exercise that you need,WHO latest advises

While we’re all cooped up during the current pandemic, the World Health Organization wants you to exercise.

The WHO’s new physical activity recommendations come at a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world — and being overweight or obese has been associated with an increased risk of severe illness and hospitalization from Covid-19.

“Being physically active is critical for health and well-being — it can help add years to life and life to years,” said WHO Director-General Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a news release.

“Every move counts, especially now as we manage the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all move every day — safely and creatively.”

Regardless of who you are, WHO has a few core principles in mind: Everyone can benefit from being more active than sedentary. Doing some physical activity, no matter what it is, is better than doing none. You can start small and slow and increase your frequency, intensity and duration over time. You can strengthen your muscles at home or in the gym (when safe). And physical activity is good for our hearts, bodies and minds.

For Adults

  • The organization released new physical activity guidelines recommending that adults get at least 150 minutes — that’s 2.5 hours — of moderate to vigorous physical activity weekly.
  • For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or equivalent.

Exercises that strengthen all muscles should be done at least twice weekly. The same guidance goes for older adults, as much as they can — but they should prioritize balance and strength training a few days per week.

What children and adolescents need?

Children up to 17 years old need at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each day, according to the new recommendations. The activities should be mostly aerobic, such as jogging or biking. Activities that strengthen muscle and bone are necessary, too.

For kids to be more active, they need to perceive their activity options as fun and if you’re working with your children on that, try referring to “exercise” by the words going outside or playing.

“Generally children/adolescents always report they like to do physical activity to: 1) be with their friends   2) have fun   3) to learn something new,” said Craig A. Williams, a professor of pediatric physiology at the University of Exeter in England.

Pleasant, noncompetitive activities can help children develop the confidence, ability and enjoyment to be active for the rest of their life, influencing their self-esteem, mood and academic performance.

Young people are more immediately at risk for mental health problems than for chronic heart or metabolic conditions.

If you’re trying to get your teenagers to be more active, encouraging them to exercise in consideration of their mental health may be more effective than warning them about physical health impacts, “which may seem far off in a young person’s mind,” said Joseph Hayes, a principal research fellow in psychiatry at University College London.

Stay active together, mix it up, be encouraging and adjust what doesn’t work, Williams said. Dance if you hate running and roller skate if you prefer not to walk. Additionally, encourage your children to notice how they feel: If they sweated and breathed hard, they did well.

 

 

 

Article by Dr. Fadi Sameer, General Practitioner