Maximize Results with Weekend-Only Exercise, Study Suggests

Recent research published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that working out for at least 150 minutes over the weekend could offer similar cardiovascular benefits to spreading a similar amount of exercise throughout the week. This could be good news for individuals who struggle to find time during the week for regular physical activity due to work commitments.

Dr. Shaan Khurshid, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who led the study, emphasized the importance of getting the recommended amount of exercise regardless of when it occurs. He noted that whether it’s a weekend run, bike ride, soccer match, or a brisk walk, it all counts toward improving cardiovascular health.

The research also found that fitting workouts into a weekend schedule is particularly beneficial for individuals with demanding workdays who may only have the weekend available or one to two days a week. Kathy Odds, a “weekend warrior” who joins a running group on Saturdays, shared her experience as someone with long workdays, highlighting the wider benefits of weekend exercise as opportunities to socialize and care for both physical and mental well-being.

However, it’s essential to note that other research has shown the benefits of more frequent, less intense movement, particularly for those who sit for extended periods during the workday. Dr. Keith Diaz, an exercise physiologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, found that quick strolls throughout the day could offset the harms from prolonged sitting. He stressed that breaking up sitting time with brief walking intervals could reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer associated with prolonged sitting.

While the weekend exercise option offers a flexible solution for many people, it’s important to recognize that long periods of sitting still pose health risks. In light of this, incorporating physical activity into a daily routine, whether at weekends or weekdays, is essential for overall health and well-being.

By Jericka Duncan, National Correspondent based in New York City and Sunday’s edition Anchor of the “CBS Weekend News.”


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