Posted: Sep 16, 2002 in

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Sept. 16, 2002 – The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s nonprofit fitness advocate, today endorsed the National Academies' Food and Nutrition Board’s recommendation that the nation’s growing waistline can best be fought with a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day.

“According to available research, an hour of physical activity appears to be necessary for optimal health,” said Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. “With 60 minutes of exercise a day, you can maintain health and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Consumers need to hear this message as often and as consistently as possible in light of the epidemic of obesity among adults and children.”

To maintain cardiovascular health at a maximum level, regardless of weight, adults and children should spend a total of at least one hour each day in moderately intense physical activity, which is double the daily goal set by the 1996 U.S. Surgeon General's report.

According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the new one-hour-a-day total exercise goal stems from studies of how much energy is expended on average each day by individuals who maintain a healthy weight. Energy expenditure is cumulative, including both low-intensity activities of daily life, such as stair climbing and housecleaning, and more vigorous exercise like swimming and cycling. Dr. Bryant adds, “It is important that the public understand that the recommendation doesn’t necessarily mean a grueling hour of exercise. It can be achieved through a variety of moderate-intensity activities. Those 60 minutes do not have to be done all at once; several 10- to 15-minute bouts of physical activity performed throughout the day are adequate to meet the new guidelines.”

There are few limitations on what types of activities individuals can do at a moderate intensity. Brisk walking is the most popular choice since it can easily be incorporated into a busy day, has low injury rates, does not require special skills or equipment, and can be done by virtually anyone at any age. The bottom line is that individuals should choose activities they enjoy and can easily incorporate into their daily routines.

About ACE

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at

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