Fitness

6 Chill Activities That Now Count As Exercise, Thanks To The WHO

You can probably find a workout that, uh, works.

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For the first time since 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its guidelines on physical activity, Inverse reports. The new standards for fitness remind people that some movement is better than none — and yes, exercise is about more than going out for a run.

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Less than one in four adults worldwide meet the WHO's 2010 aerobic activity standards, the WHO says. The updated guidelines "provide evidence-based public health recommendations" with an emphasis on making movement standards more accessible to everyone.

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Physical Activity While Sitting

To be more inclusive of folks with disabilities, the WHO now counts activities you do while sitting as movements for your health. Whether that means chair yoga or a particularly heart-thumping seated video game session, you're exercising.

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Super Short Bouts Of Movement

Only have the time and energy to dance it out to a single one of your favorite songs? That's still exercising, the WHO says — the new standards get rid of the old requirement that movement has to last at least 10 minutes to be a workout.

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Lifting (Not Just Jogging)

If you thought that lifting light weights wasn't "enough" of a workout because it doesn't get your heart rate up the same way that running does, think again — the WHO now recommends weight training sessions twice a week, especially as you get older.

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Balance Exercises

Is your favorite online yoga class mostly about staying upright in tree pose, rather than physically moving around a lot? The new WHO guidelines "count" exercises that emphasize balance as important components of fitness, especially for older individuals.

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Leisurely Walks

You don't need to break out your 1980s tracksuit, grab hand weights, and strike a speed walking pose to be "really" exercising. You can go for a leisurely stroll, or walk part of your commute, and that can contribute to your fitness levels, the WHO says.

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Exercising, But Not Every Day

If the idea of working out between 150 and 300 minutes per week freaks you out, you can up the intensity and do just over one or two hours total per week (75 to 150 minutes of more intense workouts), per the new guidelines.

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