Guidelines for physical activity released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have been met with support from the [removed]American College of Sports Medicine[/removed] (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA). The organizations, which jointly published physical activity recommendations last year, said the guidelines effectively support each other and are all based on the most relevant science that links physical activity to improved health and wellness.

ACSM/AHA guidelines focus on 30 minutes of moderate-intensity daily physical activity five days a week. HHS guidelines call for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, an amount most reasonable on five days a week at a duration of 30 minutes.

The associations note that the core recommendation as it relates to health gains of physical activity is highly consistent. In the ACSM/AHA guidelines and those from HHS, the latest science was evaluated to understand the physiological mechanisms by which physical activity provides health benefits and the physical activity profile (type, intensity, amount) that is associated with enhanced health and quality of life.

Both sets of recommendations conclude that relatively modest amounts of physical activity will improve health and cardiorespiratory fitness of inactive persons, while expanded health gains, such as weight loss or weight maintenance, may require more than a minimum 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. In general, there are more agreements than differences when it comes to physical activity recommendations. Differences on minutes-per-day or days per week recommendations appear because they are intended for different groups, and may be age-specific or relevant to overweight or obese individuals.

ACSM and AHA emphasize that beginning an exercise program is the most important public health message when it comes to physical activity guidelines. Physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, consistent with ACSM/AHA and federal recommendations, or accumulating a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, has been shown to have substantial health benefits.

ACSM is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 20,000 international, national, and regional members are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

[Source: Medical News Today]