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How to add life to your years and years to your life.

Every Little Helps

The new WHO guidelines and key facts released on 26th November, on physical activity, suggest that every little bit of physical activity helps with our wellbeing.

We’ve blogged about the brain health benefits of walking and regular exercise and the latest guidelines from WHO state that physical activity is beneficial and can be done as part of our work, sport and leisure or transport and  this includes dance, play and everyday household tasks such as gardening, cleaning and a visit to the shops.

The new guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for all adults. Women are encouraged to maintain regular exercise throughout pregnancy and post-delivery and people living with physical disabilities should also maintain a level of physical activity

Older adults – those people aged 65 years or older, are advised to add activities which emphasise balance and coordination, as well as muscle strengthening, to help prevent falls and improve health.

“Being physically active is critical for health and well-being – it can help to add years to life and life to years,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Every move counts, especially now as we manage the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all move every day – safely and creatively.” 

“Physical activity of any type, and any duration can improve health and wellbeing, but more is always better,” said Dr Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion, World Health Organization, “and if you must spend a lot of time sitting still, whether at work or school, you should do more physical activity to counter the harmful effects of sedentary behaviour.”

“These new guidelines highlight how important being active is for our hearts, bodies and minds, and how the favourable outcomes benefit everyone, of all ages and abilities”, said Dr Fiona Bull, Head of the Physical Activity Unit which led the development of the new WHO guidelines.

Regular physical activity is key to preventing and helping to manage heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer, as well as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, reducing cognitive decline, improving memory and boosting brain health. So whether its open water swimming, yoga, tai chi or walking, every little helps!

Keep Well ( and moving) , Dr Clara Russell