Exercise is so beneficial for your health that it can help people live longer when they manage to squeeze all their workouts in just one or two days per week, a study has revealed.

The active “weekend warriors” were at the same risk of having the same chance of dying prematurely from cancer, heart disease and other causes as those who exercised every day or even all day.

The main requirement was working in the prescribed time each week, at least 150 mins of moderate or vigorous physical activity which is 75 minutes or more of intense exercise regardless of how often the sessions were, as researchers have reported in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“For those who have less chances to engage in regular or daily physical activity during the work week the findings are crucial,” the study authors have written.

“These results suggest that regardless of whether you follow the suggested amount of vigorous to moderate physical exercise is spread across the week or consolidated into less days, there could be no variation in overall health advantages.”

Exercise is known to boost metabolism, reduces the risk of cancer and improves the function of key pathways in the body. Additionally, it offers psychological health benefits.

June 1, 202204:48

It is recommended to exercise “preferably divided over the course of each week” according to the American Heart Association suggests.

However, the doctor. John Tabacco, an internist and sports medicine doctor from Washington says he typically consults patients to reserve their exercise time on weekends, when they have more time due to their work schedules are too hectic.

Tabacco Tabacco, who was not part of the study, described the results as “extremely positive.”

“We are now able to prove that weekend athletes definitely benefit from many of the same advantages that regular exercisers enjoy,” Tabacco, who is also an adjunct assistant professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine said to TODAY.

But he also suggested a cautions: “You don’t want to spend five days totally sedentary, only to try to run a marathon on weekend,” he said.

Health and physical activity

It was conducted on the data of more than 350,000 U.S. adults who reported their fitness habits in the US National Health Interview Survey.

They were deemed physically active if they took part in at least 150 mins of moderate exercise such as brisk walking or at minimum 75 minutes of intense exercise such as jogging or running, each week. These are the guidelines from the American Heart Association.

Participants who did not meet these thresholds were deemed physically inactive.

Active members were then classified according to the frequency they exercised from one to 2 sessions weekly or more than three sessions each week.

All participants were tracked for a period of about 10 years. Researchers analyzed the number of people who passed away and the causes of death, they discovered that those who exercised — even few times each week or more often — had lower rates of mortality than those who were not active.

The findings were comparable for weekend warriors as well as frequent exercisers “suggesting an assumption that when doing the identical amount of physical exercise spread over a longer period of time or concentrating it over a shorter period of time may not affect mortality rates,” the authors wrote.

Do you think it is still beneficial to work out during the week?

If people can choose, Tabacco would still recommend regular exercise due to its benefits in lower blood pressure and anxiety.

“This study focused solely on mortality benefits, and not necessarily the other benefits that we can get through exercising,” he said.

“The 20-30 minute exercise routine that includes jogging or walking every day has been proven to improve outcomes in terms of the capacity to manage mental stress and challenging situations, as well as generally feeling more relaxed. The endorphins that we experience from regular exercise are a good factor that leads to better quality of life.”

He advised weekend athletes to be careful and keep a close eye on their body and heart. There are times when people can do an exercise and feel good however the strain it places on their joints and bones can cause them to exceed the capacity of their bodies which can result in injuries, Tabacco said.

The first rule of thumb for anyone starting an exercise routine is to “start with a low level and work your way up.” For those who work out on weekends, this could start with one session each weekend for a couple of weeks before progressing to two sessions, with a bit of rest between — for instance, one workout on a Saturday in the morning and one on Sunday afternoons He suggested.