KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — People who only exercise on the weekend benefit nearly as much as those who work out more frequently throughout the week, researchers found.
US researchers tracked over 350,000 people over 10 years to determine if there were any significant differences between those who exercise regularly and the weekend warriors who break a sweat once or twice a week in the hope of keeping fit.
The findings, which were published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal recently, suggest that clocking up physically active minutes matters the most in keeping fit and healthy.
“The findings of this large prospective cohort study suggest that individuals who engage in active patterns of physical activity, whether a weekend warrior or regularly active, experience lower all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates than inactive individuals.”
It said the study didn’t find any significant differences for all-course or cause-specific mortality between weekend warriors and regularly active participants after accounting for a total amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
The study found that adults who perform 150 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week may experience similar health benefits whether the sessions are spread throughout the week or concentrated at a weekend.
The findings didn’t see any significant difference in death rates between those who packed in their workout at the end of the week and regularly active people.
However, the death rates among the weekend warriors and the regularly active individuals were lower than those who were physically inactive.
The large nationwide prospective cohort study included 350,978 adults who self-reported physical activity to the US National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2013.
Participants were grouped by self-reported activity level and were further classified by activity pattern.