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Keep moving to stay healthy

If you do not exercise, you risk weight gain, back pain, weakness in legs and in hips’ muscles, cancer deep vein clots, shoulder and neck stiffness, diabetes, heart diseases and varicose veins
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Physical activity is a great way to keep you fit as well as improve mental well being. Research shows that doing exercise releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain. Even 10 minutes of brisk walk can improve your mental alertness, energy and mood.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has designated October 2 to promote exercises as part of a healthy lifestyle.

It stated that there are 10 things you may get if you keep sitting all day, like gaining weight, insomnia, back pain, weakness in legs and in hips’ muscles, cancer, deep vein clots, shoulder and neck stiffness, diabetes, heart diseases and varicose veins.

Dr Huda bint Khalfan al Siyabi, Director of Health Community Initiatives in the ministry, mentioned that there are many physical, psychological, environmental and social benefits that physical activity brings, as it can be a valuable tool for controlling infection and maintaining overall health.

“Practicing physical activity can reduce the severity of infection of Covid-19 due to muscle activity that results in compounds that improve the performance of the immune system and reduce inflammation. It reduces the chances of patients being admitted to hospitals, and the need to use respirators, which would reduce severe burden on healthcare systems during the pandemic” she said during celebration of the Omani Day of Physical Activity last year.

The World Health Organization recommends that all age groups must engage in physical activities. For adults aged between 18 and 64 years, it recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity.

“For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or equivalent. Muscle-strengthening activities should be done on two or more days of the week.”

Engaging in regular moderate physical activity such as walking, cycling or exercising, has significant health benefits. At all ages, the benefits of physical activity outweigh the potential harms such as those caused by accidents. And doing some physical activity is better than not doing it at all.

By getting more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can easily reach the recommended activity levels. Regular and adequate physical activity helps to improve muscular fitness, cardio-respiratory fitness, improves bone health and functional health, reduces the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer (including breast and colon cancer), as well as depression.

It also minimises the risk of falls and fractures of the hip and vertebrae and it is necessary for energy balance and weight control, according to WHO.

In 2013, the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of WHO, agreed on a set of voluntary global targets that included a 25 per cent reduction in premature mortality from non-communicable diseases and a 10 per cent reduction in physical inactivity by 2025.

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