Its All About the Total Exercise

I came across the article “Only Exercising On Weekends Can Be As Good As Doing It All Week Long, Study Finds” this morning. In it they cite a study that gives support to the idea that you don’t have to exercise every day, but just ‘get it done’ sometime during the week.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that “Adults aged 18–64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.” Actually their recommendation is the same for those 65 and older as well.

What the study showed is that contrary to prior believe, exercise does not have to be spread out over the week in three or four equal sessions. Instead, it can be accomplished in one or two days and still have much the same beneficial affect. The study was carried out by researchers at:

  •  University of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, England
  • National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine–East Midlands, Loughborough University, Loughborough, England
  • Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • University College London, London, England
  • School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

The results has been published (“Association of “Weekend Warrior” and Other Leisure Time Physical Activity Patterns With Risks for All-Cause, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer Mortality“) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

I am very pleased to hear of these findings. As one who finds himself setting in front of the computer much of the time, or out running errands during the week, I think I will much more easily complete those 150 minute of exercise if I can work them in when the time permits. Perhaps in one or two days.

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