Tags: Health Topics | Weekend Warriors | Exercising | Exercise | Sedentary

Weekend Warriors Gain Same Benefits as Exercising All Week

Weekend Warriors Gain Same Benefits as Exercising All Week

(Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 13 January 2017 11:32 AM

Take heart, weekend warriors. If you're one of those who puts off raising your heart rate for a single burst (or two) of activity during the weekend, you're still in the game for lessening your chances of dying prematurely — and just about as effectively as those who spread their exercising throughout the week.

That's the thrust of a new study from researchers from Loughborough University in England and others who closely examined the "weekend warrior" phenomenon. Their results were published in journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers followed 63,591 study participants (age 40 or over) from 1994 to 2012. Participants were grouped by their propensity for activity. "Weekend warriors" were defined as those who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate activity once per week, or 75 minutes divided into one or two sessions of vigorous activity each week. They were compared to those who engaged in 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day for five days each week. "Vigorous activity" was defined by activities such as any team sport, running, or fast-paced cycling. Moderate activities included brisk walking and leisurely cycling.

These two groups were compared to those who didn't exercise, labeled "inactive." Researchers used the 150 minutes of exercise per week standard set by the World Health Organization.

To maintain their records, researchers crosschecked participants against death registries, in the intervening years since the original survey. They determined that those who exercised had substantially lessened the risk that they would die from any cause, including heart disease and cancer. Interestingly, even those who exercised mildly, even if they did not meet the guideline recommendations, were about 29 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised.

Those who met the exercise recommendations gained a slight edge in longevity, being about 30 percent less likely to have died than people who led sedentary lives. This advantage remained about the same whether people worked out three or more times during the week or engaged in activity for only session or two.

“Reductions in risk were similar in the weekend warriors and the regularly active,” Gary O’Donovan, a research associate at Loughborough University who led the study, told The New York Times.

The study authors stress that since this was observational research, results show only that exercising and living longer are associated. Many questions were left unanswered, in fact. Weekend warriors, though they lived as long as regular exercisers, might be missing out on other health benefits not studied. And they could be susceptible to more injuries due to high impact activities they tended to participate in.

But there is one takeaway that can't be dismissed: Any exercise of any duration is better than leading a sedentary life when it comes to longevity.


 

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If you're one of those who puts off raising your heart rate for a single burst (or two) of activity during the weekend, you're still in the game for lessening your chances of dying prematurely — and just about as effectively as those who spread their exercising throughout the week.
Weekend Warriors, Exercising, Exercise, Sedentary
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2017-32-13
Friday, 13 January 2017 11:32 AM
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