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Health Matters

World Day of Physical Activity

Dr. Francisco Moreira (Sports Medicine) . 06/04/2017

Physical activity, generally defined as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure above resting levels”, is an essential tool to improve citizens’ health, physical condition and quality of life, promoting social interaction and integration, as well as contact with nature.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and other leading entities recommend, aside from routine daily activities, at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity daily for children and youths, and at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily for adults, including senior citizens. These periods should be continuous or divided into 10-minute blocks, 5 days a week, or at least 20 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity 3 days a week. Activities should also be added that enable improvement of muscle strength and resistance, 2 to 3 days per week.

Evidence shows that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the principal causes of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other non-communicable chronic diseases. The benefits of being physically active are demonstrated by scientific studies. If all of those benefits were placed in tablet form, it would be the highest selling pill on the market.

In case of doubts, seek medical advice. Remember that some activity is better than none. Don’t miss out on this date. Go for a hike, start to practise a physical activity that suits you and embrace an active lifestyle.

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