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During this season of Covid, the World Health Organization (WHO) is reminding the world about the vital importance and dire necessity of regular physical exercise. They offer these guidelines for the type and amount of exercise people need:
1. Children up to 17 - 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.
2. For adults up to age 64 - getting at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or minimum 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, per week can reduce the risk for early death, heart disease, hypertension, cancer and Type 2 diabetes, the report said.
3. For adults 65 and older - least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 or 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise throughout the week. 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. Those can help prevent falls and related injuries, as well as declines in bone health and ability.
4. For pregnant women - at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic and strengthening activities each week. Stretching should be included as well. Staying active during and after pregnancy has benefits for both mother and baby, including decreased risk of gestational diabetes, delivery complications and postpartum depression.
5. For people with chronic conditions - a healthy lifestyle is not only possible but necessary. As much as they are able, people with chronic conditions should do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobics per week or at least 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous aerobics weekly. A few times per week, they should do strengthening and balance exercises to enhance their abilities to function well and prevent falls.