Like many Americans, you probably don’t get enough exercise. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about one in five adults meet the recommended guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. Yet, exercise physiology Adelaide is essential to keep your body fit.
And while it’s generally recommended that people spread their exercise over a week, a new study suggests that working out all in one day—on the weekend, say—isn’t necessarily bad.
There are many reasons why people might not be able to exercise during the week.
For some, it’s simply a matter of time; for others, it may be childcare concerns or a lack of access to equipment or facilities. Whatever the reason, the new study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, suggests that weekend warriors—those who cram all their physical activity into one or two days per week—may be getting enough exercise to improve their health.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that people who exercised only on weekends had similar health benefits as those who were more active throughout the week.
There are a few possible explanations for this finding.
First, the study only looked at a very specific population: Japanese adults who were relatively inactive. Therefore, the results may not be generalisable to other groups, like people who are already active or have different cultural norms around exercise.
Second, the study only looked at a few health outcomes, like blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It’s possible that other measures, like body fat percentage or risk of heart disease, might have been affected differently by weekend vs. weekday exercise.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the study found an association between weekend exercise and better health, but it couldn’t prove causation. For example, people who are already healthy may be more likely to exercise on weekends rather than the other way around.
Still, the findings suggest that weekend warriors shouldn’t feel guilty about cramming their exercise into one or two days per week. If it’s not possible to fit in a workout during the week, weekend exercise might be just as good for your health.
The researchers looked at data from nearly 4,000 English adults who were part of a long-running health study. The participants were asked about their physical activity levels, and they also underwent fitness tests and had their health markers (like blood pressure and cholesterol levels) checked.
After analysing the data, the researchers found that those who exercised only on weekends had similar health benefits—cardiorespiratory fitness and blood pressure—as those who were more active throughout the week. In other words, it didn’t matter how people spread out their exercise; what mattered was that they were getting some form of physical activity.
“This is good news for people who find it hard to fit in exercise during the week,” study author Emmanuel Stamatakis, a professor of physical activity, lifestyle, and population health at the University of Sydney, said in a statement. “Our study shows that doing all your weekly exercise in one or two sessions at the weekend is just as good for your health as spreading it out over the week.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should ditch your weekday workout routine; there are plenty of other reasons to exercise during the week. But if you can only find time to fit in a few workouts on the weekends, don’t worry—you’re still getting some benefits. Exercise physiology Adelaide also has its benefits to your body.