March 13, 2021 08:13
A growing number of people are complaining about lack of exercise options in lockdown, and many apartment residents who bought running machines for home use received noise complaints from their neighbors.
According to the National Health Insurance Service, 39 percent of Koreans who had their annual health checkups last year were obese, up 0.66 percentage points from the year before.
Experts recommend setting realistic exercise targets to stay fit during the coronavirus epidemic. For example, aerobic exercises like running, swimming and bicycling are good options to lose weight, but they may not be an option in lockdown.
Instead, Park Se-jung at the Korea Institute of Sport Science recommended rope jumping or jumping jacks, which can be done alone in a small corner in a neighborhood park or similar space.
But the elderly or people with chronic illnesses have even fewer options, and doctors recommend simply walking a little faster. Kwon Hyuk-tae at Seoul National University Hospital said, "People with diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol must exercise, because failing to do so can worsen their blood pressure or blood-sugar levels."
He recommended walking more than 30 minutes five times a week, and lifting a suitably heavy dumbbell 15 times and for three sets. "These exercises are not so hard as to make you breathless easily, so you can do them with a mask on without worrying about getting infected," he added.
Lee Don-hyung at the Korea Health Promotion Institute said, "Even if you work from home, you need to go for walks around your home for about an hour every day."
For children and teens, the World Health Organization recommends cardio exercise for at least an hour a day. Adults and even people with high blood pressure and diabetes are advised to exercise between 150 to 300 minutes a week, and the elderly to exercise their muscles three or more times a week.
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