Even Only Exercising on Weekends Makes a Difference to Your Health

Exercising on Weekends for HealthIf you’re only exercising on weekends and are relatively inactive throughout the rest of the week, you can still gain most of the health benefits you’d get if you were active all week, says a new study.  The key is to make sure you’re still getting enough activity on those two days per week to cover for the rest of the time that you weren’t all that active.

Exercising on Weekends for 150 Minutes Can do the Trick

According to current physical activity guidelines for adults as set out by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), you need about 150 minutes of physical activity per week including both strength training and cardio.  This needs to be packed into a minimum of two days per week.  That means that if you’re exercising on weekends, and you’re getting the right number of minutes, you’re still within the recommendations and, according to new research, you’ll gain the same health benefits.

This is good news for anyone whose weekdays are packed to the brim with work, cooking, cleaning, errands, appointments and other important additions to your itinerary.

As Long as You’re Active for 2 Days, You’re Good

According to a new study recently published in the JAMA International Medicine journal, as long as you’re physically active for your 150 minutes per week, it doesn’t matter whether you are exercising on weekends alone or if you spread it out throughout the week.  Physically active people simply have lower mortality rates than people who are inactive.

The study showed that the difference between all-cause and cause-specific mortality between people who exercise throughout the week or who are only exercising on weekends, provided they obtained the same amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity by the end of the seven days. This according to adjunct professor of epidemiology in the department of preventive medicine at the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil Leandro Rezende, one of the authors of the recent study.

Rezende underscored that this is positive news because of the common weekend warrior physical activity pattern.  Many people find exercising on weekends more convenient than trying to fit in workouts throughout the work week.

Therefore, for most healthy Americans, the goal is to obtain a minimum of 150 minutes of muscle strengthening exercise per week, whether you’re doing it in two days or throughout all seven.

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