The campaign by WHO cites the importance of physical activity and the ways it can help improve one's life, especially amidst this pandemic. The Ever Move Counts campaign focuses on highlighting the ways regular physical activity can help improve one's physical, emotional, and mental well-being .
"Increasing physical activity not only helps prevent and manage heart disease, type-2 diabetes and cancer, it also reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduces cognitive decline including Alzheimer's and improves memory," said Ruediger Krech, WHO director for health promotion .
The WHO campaign asserts that adult and children should exercise regularly to avoid any health problems, as well as to improve their immunity and prevent the risk of lifestyle-related diseases .
"That is limit sedentary time, and do more activity to offset sedentary time, particularly for those who do long hours of sedentary, which includes a lot of people who have got office-based work environments. For children we also recommend they limit sedentary time, particularly screen time" .
On analysing the guidance set forth by WHO, the following are the important points to be considered:
• All adults should do a minimum of 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week .
• Children and adolescents have an average of one hour of daily physical exercise.
• Limit your time in front of electronic screens.
• Include walking, cycling, gardening and cleaning to your daily activities.
In addition to the general guidelines, WHO has added the following for specific cases as well:
Pregnant women: Postpartum mothers and pregnant women require 50 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week . This is also beneficial because studies have pointed out that there is a 30 per cent reduction in gestational diabetes amongst women who are physically active during pregnancy .
Adults over 65 years: WHO advises people of this age group to add muscle strengthening and activities focusing on balance and coordination. Practising these, apart from improving the overall health, also help reduce the risk of falls later (as you get older) .
Sitting all day takes its toll on your body and your health and has been associated with higher mortality and disease rates . A certain amount of daily exercise can counter the health issues stemming from a sedentary lifestyle. Here is a list of simple exercises you can do to slowly get out of your sedentary lifestyle:
Exercise for kids should be fun because if they don't enjoy doing it, you might as well just not ask them to do it. Instead of 'working out,' make it 'exercise play.' Here is a list of easy exercises for kids that require no equipment or large outdoor spaces to do. These exercises can be done for 5-10 minutes or make a schedule by adding different types of exercises to keep the kids engaged and entertained.
• Jumping (jumping jacks, one-foot hops, criss-cross feet etc.)
• Sit-ups and push-ups
Once done, finish with stretching to keep muscles strong and healthy, and to cool-down the body after the workout/exercise session.
The best way to analyse your exercise hours is to use wrist or hip devices that can track your physical activities. Monitoring your activities can help you better understand the time you put in for exercising and avoid being extra active (and tire yourself).
As people continue to practice social distancing and are advised to stay indoors, unless extremely necessary, there has been a definite reduction in physical activity, around the globe.
Along with the new normal, came the new sedentary lifestyle where there is little or no physical activity. Staying indoors 24/7 can affect one's mental and physical health, especially when the cause for it is something as uncertain as to the Covid-19 pandemic.
People, irrespective of age need to compensate for the growing sedentary behaviour with physical activity to ward off diseases and improve their overall health . The World Health Organization (WHO), on Thursday, issued its first guidance in a decade, where the importance of physical activity in the Covid-19 era .