Science and Tech


Weekend-Only Workouts Might Be Just As Good As Daily Exercise

It's not an ideal schedule, but a new study says packing a week's worth of exercise into one or two days can still be beneficial.
Posted at 2:12 PM, Jan 10, 2017

It happens to the best of us: The week flies by, and you haven't made it to the gym.

So you workout on Saturday and Sunday instead.

It's not an ideal schedule, but a new study says packing a week's worth of exercise into one or two days can still be beneficial.

The World Health Organization recommends the average adult get 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week.

Activities can include walking, dancing, gardening, hiking, swimming, household chores, sports and planned exercise — just to name a few.

Researchers found this: People in the U.K. who met that recommendation by exercising throughout the week had a 35 percent lower risk of dying than inactive people.

On the other hand, people who reached that goal with just a couple of workout sessions — known as weekend warriors — had a 30 percent lower risk of death. That's not much of a difference.

The study's lead author told The Guardian: "Millions of people enjoy doing a sport once or twice a week, but they may be concerned that they are not doing enough. We find a clear benefit. It's making them fit and healthy."

To come to this conclusion, researchers analyzed the overall health and self-reported exercise habits of more than 63,000 adults in England and Scotland between 1994 and 2012. Nearly 9,000 of the participants died during the study period.

Despite the known health benefits of regular exercise, in 2013, about 1 in 4 U.S. adults said they weren't physically activity in their free time.