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Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty: exercise 'the best thing you can do' during lockdown

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The government's Chief Medical Adviser, Chris Whitty, has used the government's daily coronavirus briefing to stress the importance of exercise to public health.

Speaking during the question and answer session on 15 April, Whitty – who is also England's Chief Medical Officer – said being physically active was "very important to long-term health" and crucial for keeping people fighting fit during the ongoing pandemic.

"There is no situation, there is no age and no condition where exercise is not a good thing," he said.

"So anything that can be done to encourage – and to allow – people to take exercise is clearly a good thing.

"In this period, in which people are in lockdown, that might mean exercising indoors – and there are a lot of things people can do in their houses.

"Nevertheless, one of the reasons that we had exercise as one of the very limited range of reasons people could leave their houses – and still be protecting the NHS and saving lives – was for exercise.

"And the reason for that is that exercise is one of the best things you can possibly do."

Whitty added that even those who are classed as vulnerable – older people and those with underlying health concerns – should make every effort to stay active.

"There are a number of citizens who are either older or have existing health conditions," he said. "These people are shielding – preventing a situation where they come into contact with someone who could pass on this virus. And that is a very important thing for them to do.

"But we would definitely want those who are shielding to exercise too, so the message for them is to exercise indoors.

"Also, care staff and those who are living with vulnerable people have to be aware of the dangers in coming into contact with the virus. But I certainly want to stress the point that, wherever possible, people should be taking exercise. This is very important for long-term health."

• To watch and hear Chris Whitty's comments in full, click here – his remarks about exercise begin at around 44 minutes in.

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The government's chief medical adviser, Chris Whitty, has used the government's daily coronavirus briefing to stress the importance of exercise to public health.
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