Recent research published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, presents a reassuring message for those struggling to find time for weekday workouts: Exercising for at least 150 minutes over the weekend can offer similar cardiovascular benefits to spreading the same amount of activity throughout the week. This study, which tracked nearly 90,000 individuals, discovered that moderate to vigorous activity concentrated in one or two days a week is just as effective as more frequent sessions.
Dr. Shaan Khurshid, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and the study’s lead, highlights the flexibility this finding offers. “It’s empowering to say it doesn’t matter so much how you get it. The important thing is that you do get it,” he remarks. This approach benefits people with tight schedules during weekdays, like bank employee Kathy Odds, who finds weekend exercises not only physically beneficial but also mentally rewarding due to the social aspect.
However, other research emphasizes the merits of less intense but more frequent movement, particularly for those with sedentary jobs. Dr. Keith Diaz, an exercise physiologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, found that brief walks every half-hour can mitigate the health risks associated with prolonged sitting, known to increase the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.