How often do you exercise?
Are you one of those who works out daily? Head to the gym and go around the tracks in each and every step.
Well, a new study may convince you that you may be wasting your time, because you may be able to get the same result by just being a weekend warrior.
So, who is a weekend warrior?
Typically, someone who takes it easy throughout a grueling week doesn’t stress about working out or tracking new steps but on weekends, they try and be healthy.
This weekend warrior gets a jolt of energy only on weekends by cramming a week’s work of exercise in just two days.
This could be strength training, HIIT, running, or some light cardio. It is almost as if they are making up for the debauchery of the week by being good.
Just two days.
Well, those of us who try and stay consistent throughout the week, maybe judging them right now it seems these weekend warriors are having the last laugh.
New research says that those who cram an entire week of recommended exercise into a couple of days also have a similarly lower risk of heart disease as compared to those who work out through the week and stay consistent.
What this study is essentially saying is that if you exercise seven days a week, or just on weekends, you will be reaping the same benefits.
The study has been published in the German Network; it suggests the total volume of activity matters more rather than the pattern. So as long you hit your weekly goal, it doesn’t matter whether you achieved it across seven days or within two days.
The study analyzes medical records for nearly 90,000 people all of whom wear risk `accelerator meters for their activities.
These recorded their physical activity throughout the week. Two groups were identified—those who spread the training out across a week and those who cram it across two days.
And both groups reported decent cardiovascular health. Sounds great, right?
Why work out daily when you can just catch up with workouts only on the weekends and dance your way to good heart health?
Here is a reality check, it is not that easy. Public health guidelines recommend that adults should perform at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense activity every week.
This could be walking, jogging, some light strength straining or they can do 75 minutes of vigorous activity.
Now this could be a high-intensity workout, longer runs, cardio, or powerlifting even.
So, what happens when you miss your weekly workout?
Are you ready to cram 150 minutes in just over two days, that is 75 minutes of daily workout?
You would have to at least set aside two-three hours to work out on your weekends.
You may think it is doable, and maybe it is, but when the weekend chores come calling when impromptu road trips beckon. When your best friend drops by for a surprise coffee or your child has that illness. Trust me that workout is long forgotten.
Exercise is medicine they say, but for some, it is a task.
Human nature often tends towards procrastination. Imagine if you miss out on a workout on your weekends, you would have missed the entire week.
Look I am not saying you can’t do it. If you enjoy working out alone on weekends or at leisure, please do. But if you have a stressful week and you want to leave all your exercise only for your weekends you are not going to be productive.
The study would have told us a thing or two about our bodies but it is not going to change our habits. Daily movement is good for the mind, heart, body, and soul.
A walk in the park, a light swim, or a dance class if you will.
Prioritize good movement for mental health. Don’t let the study tell you when to work out.
Because you know what they say, what is the best time to exercise is whenever you exercise!