Physical Activities: Common Myths

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Physical activity is by all means an expensive pleasure, it takes a very long time, it is already or not necessary for me … We debunk these and other myths with the help of unbiased scientific data.

MYTH 1

Being physically active is too expensive. You need equipment, special shoes and clothes … And sometimes you even have to pay for the use of sports facilities.

Physical activity can be manifested almost anywhere and does not necessarily require equipment! For example, akivnye walks with children and animals, climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator. Walking is perhaps the most practiced and most strongly recommended all type of physical activity, and it is absolutely free. Parks, embankments and other pedestrian areas are ideal for walking, running or playing games, as well as for cycling. It is not necessary to buy a subscription to a gym, swimming pool or other special sports facilities to be physically active.

MYTH 2

I am really busy. Physical activity takes too much time!

It takes only 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five times a week to improve and maintain health. However, this does not mean that physical activity should always be performed within 30 minutes at a time. Activity can accumulate during the day: 10 minutes of fast walking, three times a day; or 20 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes on the same day. These activities can be included in your daily life – at work, at school, at home. Simple things like climbing stairs, cycling to work or getting off the bus two stops to the destination can accumulate throughout the day and gradually become a familiar part of your normal daily activities. Even if you are very busy – you can still allocate 30 minutes of physical activity to improve your health.

MYTH 3

Children by nature and so spend a lot of energy. It is unlikely that they will sit still. There is no need to waste time and energy training their physical activity. They are already active.

Every day, children and young people aged 5 to 17 years should devote at least 60 minutes of moderate-high intensity of physical activity to ensure their healthy development. Nevertheless, the level of physical activity in our time has decreased among young people in countries around the world, especially in poor urban areas. This decline is mainly due to the increasing spread of sedentary lifestyles. For example, fewer children started walking or cycling to school, and they began spending too much time watching TV, playing computer games – often at the expense of time for physical activity and sports. Increasing the level of physical activity among young people is very important for future health.

MYTH 4

Physical activity – for people in the “prime of life”. At my age, I do not need it anymore.

Regular physical activity is indicated to improve the functional state and quality of life of the elderly. It is recommended that adults aged 65 years and above give at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity of aerobic physical activity during the week or 75 minutes of high intensity of aerobic physical activity during the week, or, as equivalent, combine moderate and vigorous activity. Many non-communicable diseases common in the elderly can be prevented by regular physical activity (cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension). Physical activity is also indicated to improve mental health in the elderly. Her contribution to the prevention of disorders, such as depression and anxiety, was found. Active lifestyles often allow older people to find new friends, maintain social networks and communicate with other people of all ages. Being active from an early age, many diseases can be prevented. But it is important to note that the benefits of physical activity are available, even if it begins at the end of life.

MYTH 5

Physical activity is necessary only in industrialized countries. People in developing countries have other problems.

The lack of physical activity is now identified as the fourth most important risk factor for global mortality. A sedentary lifestyle is also a risk factor for the development of noncommunicable diseases, which cause about 35 million deaths per year. It is important to note that 80% of these deaths from the total occur in low- and middle-income countries. 

The level of physical inaction is high in virtually all developed and developing countries. In developed countries, more than half of the adult population is not sufficiently active. In rapidly growing major cities in developing countries, the lack of physical activity is an even bigger problem. 

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