The importance of Physical Activity


Photo by Mez Lie

A healthy diet and physical activity together are the keys to maintaining a healthy life and to prevent health problems. According to WHO, we need to activate our body movement to produce and improve muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness, energy balance, and weight control. It will also reduce the risk of hypertension, fractures, stroke, diabetes, and other types of diseases such as cancer. 


WHO reports that 1 in 4 adults are not active enough, and more than 80% of the world’s youth are physically inactive. One of the leading risk factors of death worldwide is insufficient physical activity. Physical activity is done in leisure time, transit, or part of a person´s work. In contrast, exercise is planned and repetitive, and it aims to improve or maintain physical fitness. 


Children from 5-17 years old should move at least 60 minutes a day, and adults at least 150 minutes a day. Depending on the current condition of adults and youth, both can choose activities from Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity to Vigorous-intensity Physical activity to have a positive outcome. If one has poor health, then it is better to start slowly and calmly before trying to achieve a moderate intensity. A moderate-intensity activity accelerates the heart rate but requires a reasonable amount of effort, while vigorous-intensity physical activity aims for rapid breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate. You should check a physician or a personal trainer before starting a vigorous exercise regime.



Encourage the whole family with examples.


It is essential to encourage the whole family to find an activity that they like and to limit their time of being in front of the TV, phone, or computer. 


Create good examples of different activities and be passionate about what you do and explain the reasons and motivations of why we need to have a healthy lifestyle. Remember try to be a good model for children because parents can have a good impact on their habits and behaviours.. 


Life with stress is healthy and a part of modern life. But we can learn how to control it and to reduce the pressure regularly.


Examples of Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity


Brisk walking, dancing, gardening, household chores, and cleaning, Walking the dog, playing games, doing sports, maintenance and house repair, carrying and moving moderate loads which are less than 20 kilos.


Examples of Vigorous-intensity Physical activity


Running, walking or climbing stairs briskly, fast cycling, aerobics, swimming, hockey, football, volleyball, basketball, carrying heavy loads which are more than 20 kilos. 

Source: World Health Organisation


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