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5 Minutes of Exercise an Hour Could Make you Healthier, According to Science

If you thought corona would disappear and not be heard from again, it’s important to mention that the virus has dramatically decreased the amount of exercise, even if it seems to be very little, that many people usually do through social gatherings or going out to work.

Now, researchers from King's College London say getting up and walking around for just five minutes at a time can undo the impact of a lack of exercise.

The study, posted in the journal BMJ Neurology Open, compared the levels of exercise in people with genetic muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy, before and toward the end of quarantine.

Participants included adults with diverse physical abilities, from those who are mobile and independent to others who need help to move. The study additionally included 41 people in wheelchairs, which most studies often ignore, in accordance to the research team.

During the one-year assessment, workout levels were measured in 2019 before quarantine until the end of some quarantines in 2020. Special sensors documented the duration and degree of movement in four different categories: strong, light, low and sitting.

Throughout the epidemic, the results showed a marked minimize in the amount of physical activity the participants did each day. People on average engaged in almost an hour and a half of light workout each day before quarantine. As a result of the closures, people spent an average of 25 minutes less each day on low-activity tasks and moved less frequently during the day.

Due to last year’s restrictions on travel, outdoor recreation activities and large gatherings, the study found that people spent less time on light activities and moved less frequently in general. Because light daily activity isn’t necessarily physical activity, it’s difficult for people to notice these tiny changes in daily activity. And yet, moderate amounts of workout and frequent movement during the day play an important role in maintaining our health.

"Even people who don’t exercise much were affected by inactivity in closures and our study identified an additional hour of inactivity in adults, the disabled and independent, with neuromuscular disease,” said Sarah Roberts-Lewis, the lead researcher and a neurological physiotherapist. “Reduced activity may be particularly harmful to those with neuromuscular conditions, disabilities or advanced age."

The minimize in light activity measured in this study may be similar for anyone whose daily routine was limited by closures.

Based on the findings, the researchers suggested that people move their bodies for 5 minutes at any hour during the day. In addition, it’s recommended to spend 30 minutes each day on additional light activities like yoga or chair exercises.

The World Health Organization's operating guidelines state that “everything counts,” and they provide suggestions for easy activities to suit all abilities.

They added that simple changes can help with rehabilitation during and after closures.

Originally published: The Jerusalem Post

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