New Delhi: Physical activity is important to keep ourselves healthy. The fitter we are, the better immunity we have – which is especially vital in the times of COVID-19 pandemic.
Physical activity contributes in prevention and management of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes. It also enhances our thinking, learning, and judgment skills.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 5 million deaths a year could be averted if the global population was more active. It further states that a staggering more than 80% of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ACCORDING TO AGE
WHO states the amount of physical activity that is required for each age group to stay healthy.
Children and adolescents aged 5-17 years
This age group should do at least an average of 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous intensity, mostly aerobic, physical activity, across the week. They should incorporate vigorous-intensity aerobic activities, as well as those that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 days a week.
Adults aged 18–64 years
This age group should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week. This number can be increased depending upon your personal health goals.
Apart from this, they should also do muscle-strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these provide additional health benefits.
Adults aged 65 years and above
This age group should exercise the same as an average adult. As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do varied multicomponent physical activity that emphasizes functional balance and strength training at moderate or greater intensity, on 3 or more days a week, to enhance functional capacity and to prevent falls.