With increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, we’re expecting a sheltered winter, one without a lot of physical activity. Concerned with these restraints, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a set of guidelines where they suggest that adults should get at least 2 and a half hours of moderate physical activity a week. They also provided orientation for teens and children.
These guidelines suggest more workouts than their previous statements, which suggested a minimum of 75 minutes of workout activity per week for healthy adults.
“Being physically active is critical for health and well-being — it can help add years to life and life to years,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. “Every move counts, especially now as we manage the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all move every day — safely and creatively.”
For adults 64 and younger, the WHO recommends between 150 to 300 minutes of cardio activity, which helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes and more. For adults over the age of 64, the same amount of cardio activity is recommended with the addition of prioritizing balance and strength training a few times per week.
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When it comes to adolescents and kids, the WHO suggests a minimum of 60 minutes of vigorous activity for those under the age of 17. These activities should be perceived as fun and can be made up of outdoor playtime, walks, group activities with members of their household, or scavenger hunts.”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,” Craig A. Williams, professor of pediatric psychology and health, told CNN.
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While workouts are important for physical health, when it comes to children and teens, experts suggest focusing on the mental health benefits that these activities can provide. Younger demographics are less at risk for cardiovascular diseases and other kinds of illnesses but one thing they can benefit from is the distraction, confidence, and enjoyment that comes with directed movement, especially within the circumstances of the pandemic.