Infrequent but intense exercise yields same health benefits.
Getting regular exercise each day has been the basis of many health recommendations but a new study has revealed cramming all your weekly exercise into a weekend could add just as much benefit as the key to success is purposefulness.
Researchers from the University of Loughborough in England and the University of Sydney in Australia collected data from a British survey of 64,000 adults aged over 40. They analyzed how much time people spent doing exercise over a period of 18 years and found that it didn’t matter how or when they got their recommended weekly exercise as long as they did it all in a weekly period. In other words, saving all your sessions for one massive workout at the weekend is still beneficial to your health.
This is good news for those living busy and hectic lifestyles who may only have weekends to do their workouts.
“The present study suggests that less frequent bouts of activity, which might be more easily fit into a busy lifestyle, offer considerable health benefits,” the researchers state in the study.
It was observed that people who did intense workouts at the weekends were still reducing their risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 41 percent and cancer by 18 percent. This is almost the same as someone who worked out steadily during the week which stood at reduced risk of heart disease by 41 percent and cancer by 21 percent.
The study, which had its limitations, does point out the importance of questioning how frequently people should exercise, and how intense their activity should be, to yield maximum health benefits. The only potential downside to saving up all your workouts for the weekend is more chance of soreness and injury from intense exercise.
Details of the study were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.