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YMCA of the USA Supports New National Physical Activity Guidelines

Thursday, October 9, 2008 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 New physical activity guidelinesreleased today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) willgive Americans the information they need to achieve and maintain good health,according to YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the nation's2,686 not-for-profit YMCAs.

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans set achievable goalsfor everyone and can be customized according to a person's interests,lifestyle, health conditions and objectives. Overall, the guidelines recommendthat adults should obtain 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity,or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobicphysical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- andvigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity should beperformed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, preferably spread throughout theweek. Children and adolescents should do 1 hour (60 minutes) or more ofmoderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

"There is no doubt that regular physical activity has health benefits. Butmany Americans do not know how much activity is needed to reap thosebenefits," said YMCA of the USA President and CEO Neil Nicoll. "With theseguidelines, YMCAs hope that Americans -- especially those seeking a path tobetter health -- develop a clearer understanding of the amount and types ofphysical activity needed to live a healthy lifestyle while also reducing therisk of chronic disease."

According to Nicoll, YMCAs are collectively one of the nation's largestproviders of health and well-being programs. Through Activate America(R) --the YMCA's response to the nation's health crisis -- YMCAs are redefining theway they work both inside their facilities and out in their communities tosupport individuals of all ages who desire a healthier lifestyle but need helpto reach their goals.

"For nearly 160 years, YMCAs have offered programs and services thatstrengthen the spirit, mind and body for individuals of all ages. Because ofour history and reach into communities throughout the U.S., YMCAs are in aunique position to help millions of Americans attain their health goals," saidNicoll. "Through community YMCAs, we hope to help Americans turn the knowledgethey gain from these guidelines to actions that lead to healthy choices in allareas of their lives."

About YMCA of the USA

YMCA of the USA is the national resource office for the nation's 2,686YMCAs, which serve 21 million people each year, including nearly 10 millionchildren under the age of 18. YMCAs respond to critical social needs bydrawing on their collective strength as one of America's largestnot-for-profit community service organizations. Through a variety of programsand services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, familystrengthening, and health and well-being for all, YMCAs unite men, women andchildren of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels. Fromurban areas to small towns, YMCAs have proudly served America's communitiesfor nearly 160 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Visithttp://www.ymca.net to find your local YMCA.

Contact: Kelly Kennai

202-839-9043

SOURCE YMCA of the USA
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