Only Exercise on Weekends? That May Be Ok
For many of us, week days are so busy with work, errands, household chores, etc., that it can be hard to find time to exercise. According to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, packing the recommended weekly amount of exercise (75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate activity) into a couple of days a week—on the weekend, for example—while not ideal, offers about the same health benefits as exercising throughout the week.
In the self-reported study, 63,591 adults provided information about their exercise habits and overall health from 1994 to 2012. Researchers found that, compared with adults who reported no physical activity, "weekend warriors"—those who participated in high-intensity activities a couple days a week—had about a 40 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, a 30 percent lower risk of death overall, and an 18 percent lower risk of death from cancer.
These health benefits, which were about the same in men and women, were similar to those seen in people who exercise regularly. This study supports earlier research showing that irregular exercise schedules—as long as they meet recommendations for physical activity—can improve overall health.
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