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WHO issues new guidelines calling for people to get more exercise

The World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending people increase their activity and get more exercise during the pandemic.

The new guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for adults and an average of 60 minutes for children. Adults 65 and older are advised to add activities that focus on balance and coordination, as well as strength training, to improve health and prevent falls.

Pregnant women are encouraged to maintain physical activity during pregnancy and post-delivery.

The health agency said 1 in 4 adults, and four out of five adolescents, do not get enough physical activity, an issue that has gotten worse due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Being physically active is critical for health and well-being - it can help to add years to life and life to years," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement Wednesday.

"Every move counts, especially now as we manage the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all move every day - safely and creatively," he added.

Fiona Bull, head of the WHO's physical activity unit, said the guidelines also offer advice on sedentary behavior, according to The Associated Press.

Bull said that increased use of fitness-monitoring devices has generated more evidence showing that it's important to get at least 150 minutes of activity per week. Previously, experts thought physical activity should be done in blocks of 10 minutes, the news outlet notes.

"In fact, that 10-minute minimum is not so important and every move counts," Bull said. "It's the total amount we all achieve: Reaching 150 (minutes) and extending."

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