Both children and adults should get at least one hour of exercise a day.
Children can divide this hour throughout the day by exercising for short periods during recess and at physical education or gym class. Competitive sports such as soccer, basketball, swimming and tennis are also some recommended sports they can do.
Adults, on the other hand, should get at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity a week. The National Heart Institute recommends getting this amount of exercise regularly is a necessary part of reducing the risk of chronic disease. Resistance exercises are suggested for this population group as they increase your breathing and heart rate. Some examples include walking, running, dancing, swimming and bike riding. Others include strength training for your muscles, balancing exercises to prevent falls, and stretching to keep your muscles flexible.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists a few overall benefits of getting exercise:
- Helps to control your weight
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Helps manage your body’s blood sugar and insulin levels
- Reduces anxiety
- Improves your mental health and mood
- Keeps your thinking, learning and judgment skills sharp as you age
- Reduces the risk of some types of cancer including colon, breast, uterine and lung cancer
- Helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer