Hey, you fit-biters, 10,000 steppers, hour-a-day-everyday workout people, how does this sound?

A big burst of exercise at the weekend is as good as spreading activity out across the week

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Does that seem counter-intuitive?  Cram it all in versus spread it all out?  How can that be?

You Can Always Find The Time

Here's how.

In the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, the results of a new study suggest the type and total amount of exercise count, rather than how many sessions. Sounds like quality over quantity for the win!

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Researchers took a pretty big data bite in tracking 350,000 people over 10 years to see how well so-called weekend warriors fared.

Here's What We All Need To Do

The baseline recommendation was established as at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise.

Health expert's guidelines are:

Going for a brisk walk, a light reasonable bike ride, or playing doubles in tennis are examples of "moderate-intensity" activity.  --OR-- (speaking of cramming) you could do 75 minutes of vigorous activity - things like running, swimming, or playing a game of football

 The Payoff Is A Longe Life

Study participants who reached the recommended level of activity, whether during the week or on the weekend, both had a lower death risk than those who did less than the recommended amount.

That doesn't mean a weekend cram session should be the final goal. Recommendations also include doing some form of physical activity every day including strength exercises such as yoga, pilates, and heavy gardening.
Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
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Step It Up If You Choose

Very vigorous activity that can help achieve recommended physical activity levels and can be done in shorter, sharper bursts, includes:

  • high-intensity interval training
  • spinning classes
  • lifting heavy weights
  • hill sprinting
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The conclusion is that it doesn't matter when you do it, but that you "do" do it, since exercise can improve your health, reducing your risk of heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack and stroke.

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