When it comes to our overall health, diet is only half the story. The other critical part is keeping active.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that physical activity has significant health benefits and contributes to the prevention of NCDs (7). In fact, not keeping active enough is linked to a number of health issues and shortens lifespan by three to five years (7). Despite this, it is estimated that globally one in four adults is not active enough (7).
To this end, in 2019, The State Council’s General Office –together with the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China – published guidelines on measures to implement the Healthy China 2030 Initiative (4). The guidelines set out plans to launch extensive mass fitness programs nationwide. These will be accessible to everyone and 15-minute fitness circles* – will be established, with public sports facilities becoming cheaper or free.
More broadly the guidelines encourage everyone to consider a level of exercise which is best suited to the individual. For some, this may be exercise of moderate intensity, described as exercise more than three times a week, more than 30 minutes each time. Alternatively, it may be to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75-minutes of high intensity physical activity. In addition, they advise people to be as active as possible in their everyday life, trying to take 6000 to 10000 steps each day.
Whatever you choose, by becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, you can quite easily achieve the recommended activity levels.
Before exercising, you should consider your family history, assess your physical condition and consult with your family doctors or professional for advice.
* These fitness circles – aimed at urban communities – will see venues and facilities provided for mass sports activities such as walking, square dancing and ball sports all within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from where people live.