We know that exercise is very important for a healthy lifestyle and can protect us from many chronic diseases.
Experts suggest that we should do exercise every day and at least five days a week.
However, the amount of exercise can be various depending on the population group.
For example, for children and youth, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggests 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day.
The activity should fit their age and body development.
Most physical activity should be moderate-intensity aerobic activities. This includes walking, running, playing on the ground, cycling, and playing basketball.
In addition, children and youth should do vigorous-intensity aerobic activities 3 days a week. This include running, skipping rope and fast swimming.
They also need to do muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities 3 days a week, such as doing pushups and pullups, playing on playground equipment, playing volleyball and hopping.
For healthy adults, HHS suggests at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity every week.
When doing aerobic activity, do it for at least 10 minutes at a time. Spread the activity throughout the week.
Muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or vigorous intensity should be included 2 or more days a week.
The more active you are, the more you will benefit.
For people aged 65 or older, HHS suggests them follow the guidelines for adults, if possible.
If you can’t do 150 minutes of activity each week, be as physically active as your abilities and condition allow.
If you’re at risk for falls, you should do balance exercises. Examples include walking backward or sideways, standing on one leg, and standing from a sitting position several times in a row.
If you have a chronic (ongoing) condition—such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes—ask your doctor what types and amounts of activity are safe for you.
For women who are pregnant or soon after delivery, HHS suggest them ask your doctor what physical activities are safe to do during pregnancy and after delivery.
If you’re healthy but not already active, do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. If possible, spread this activity across the week.
If you’re already active, you can continue being active if you stay healthy and talk with your doctor about your activity level throughout your pregnancy.
After the first 3 months of pregnancy, you shouldn’t do exercises that involve lying on your back.
You shouldn’t do activities in which you might fall or hurt yourself, such as horseback riding, downhill skiing, soccer, and basketball.
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