Quality over quantity – Cramming exercises on weekends works too

Hey, you biters, 10,000 steppers, people who train an hour a day, how does that sound?

A big workout on the weekend is just as good as spreading the activity out over the week

Does this seem counter-intuitive to you? Stack everything up rather than spread everything out? How is it possible ?

You can always find the time

Here’s how.

In the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the results of a new study suggest the type and total amount of exercise, rather than the number of sessions. Sounds like quality over quantity for the win!

The researchers took a pretty big bite of data by following 350,000 people over 10 years to see how well the so-called weekend warriors were doing.

Here’s what we all need to do

The baseline recommendation has been set at at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise.

The guidelines from the health expert are:

Going for a brisk walk, a light and reasonable bike ride, or playing doubles tennis are examples of “moderate-intensity” activity. –OR– (speaking of cramming), you could do 75 minutes of vigorous activity – things like running, swimming, or playing soccer

The reward is a long life

Study participants who achieved the recommended level of activity, whether during the week or on the weekend, both had a lower risk of death than those who did less than the recommended amount.

That doesn’t mean a weekend cram session should be the end goal. Recommendations also include engaging in some form of physical activity daily, including strength-training exercises such as yoga, pilates, and heavy gardening.

Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Step it up if you want

High-vigorous activity that can help achieve recommended physical activity levels, and which can be done in shorter, sharper bursts, includes:

  • high intensity interval training
  • spinning class
  • lift heavy weights
  • hill sprint

The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter when you do it, but you do it because exercise can improve your health, reducing your risk of heart and circulatory diseases like heart attacks and strokes.

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