We all know that physical activity is beneficially, it can help decrease the chances of chronic illness, is good for your mind, and body as well. But how about weekend exercise versus daily fitness? Can one experience the same health benefits when cramming a weekend full of exercise, compared to little bits during the week? Medical News Today reveals a new study diving into this very idea…
It is recommended for adults to partake in approximately 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity fitness weekly; does it matter if those minutes are spread throughout the seven days or done in the matter of two?
Research was conducted by the Loughborough University in the UK, to further investigate this notion. Data was gathered from a variety of existing mortality records and home surveillance studies. Over 63,00 individuals 40 years of age or older via 11 partners of individuals who partook in the Scottish Health Survey and the Health Survey for England participated. Data was gathered from 1994 to 2008, looking at the connection between mortality rates and exercise habits of those who worked out solely on the weekends and other exercise patterns. The research team also reviewed the chances of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause death rates.
Those who worked out on the weekend, labelled as ‘weekend warriors’ were defined as individuals who exercised at a moderate-intensity level for a minimum of 150 minutes weekly, or had 75 minutes (at the very least) of vigorous-intensity physical activity weekly, during one to two sessions.
Other patterns were outlined as those who reported no exercise as all, dubbed ‘inactive’, as well as ‘insufficiently active’; individuals that reported less than 150 minutes each week of moderate-intensity exercise or less than 75 minutes each week of vigorous-intensity fitness.
Then, the researchers outlined those who were classified as ‘regularly active’ exercisers; they met the 150/75 minutes of exercise in three or more sessions weekly.
In the time that followed, just over 8,800 deaths occurred, where over 2,500 resulted from cancer and over 2,700 from cardiovascular disease.
When all was said and done, the research revealed that regular exercising adults, weekend warriors, and those that were insufficiently active all could reduce their chances of mortality, despite their exercising frequency. In fact, the risk of all-cause mortality was 30% less in the active individuals than those who were considered inactive; and this group included those weekend warriors.
The researchers thus came to the conclusion that the duration and frequency of the exercise did not seem to affect those who were actually physically active.
It’s important to note, that there were limitations in the study, including the fact that 90% were Caucasian, and most of the ‘weekend warriors’ were male; which does adequately reflect the diversity within current society. In addition, as the study was observational in nature, it could not form a connection between the linked data. Lastly, it was a self-reported system, which leaves results vulnerable to inaccuracies.
Still, the good news for those of you who can’t seem to cram some exercise into your daily routine, you always have the weekend! Here’s to all those ‘weekend warriors’!