Physical activity is, together with well-balanced diet, the key to a happy and healthy life. Exercising helps you manage weight, fend off a multitude of diseases, and live longer. In fact, a wide array of scientific studies has confirmed the immense benefits of physical activity. Some people prefer working out regularly; they do it every day or at least four times a week. However, there are also those who exercise during weekend only i.e. weekend warriors. The question is; can weekend warriors get same health benefits as people who exercise on a daily basis? The latest study has the answer.
Physical Activity Patterns – Do they Yield Same Effects?
Although impressive benefits of exercise are well-documented, little is known about the frequency of exercises and those health benefits. Bearing that in mind, associate professor Emmanuel Stamatakis and a team of researchers at the University of Sydney decided to carry out a study. The primary objective of the research was to analyze the relationship between the weekend warrior and other patterns of physical activity and the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and so on.
The weekend warrior pattern is defined as a moderate-intensity exercise for at least 150 minutes a week or a minimum of 75 minutes of vigorous activity over one or two sessions. Weekend warriors usually divide 150 or 75 minutes of moderate or strenuous exercise during Saturday and Sunday.
The pooled analysis included 11 cohorts of respondents to the Health Survey for England and Scottish Health Survey. Scientists collected data from 1994 to 2012 and analyzed them in 2016. All participants were 40 years or older and out of 63,591 respondents 45.9% were male and 44.1% female.
The JAMA Internal Medicine published results of the research which showed that weekend warrior and other physical activity patterns characterized by one or two sessions per week are sufficient to reduce all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease risk, and cancer mortality risk. The effects were present regardless of the adherence to prevailing physical activity guidelines. The all-cause mortality risk was 30% lower in active individuals, compared to inactive participants.
Weekend Warriors Analysis
The study showed that weekend warriors are, primarily, men. Of the total number of weekend warriors, 1053 or 45% reported exercising once a week while 1288 or 55% took two workout sessions on a weekly basis.
Furthermore, 2201 weekend warriors or 94% reported participating in sports while 7026 or 31% preferred walking at a brisk or fast pace. The mean time spent in the moderate or vigorous-intensity exercise was about 300 minutes per week compared to 450 min/wk for respondents who exercised throughout the week.
Moderate Physical Activity is Beneficial
Any type of physical activity is better than a sedentary lifestyle, but unfortunately, a lot of people seem to forget about that. In order to be healthier, you don’t have to adhere to strenuous activities only. In fact, a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2016 in August discovered that moderate activity is linked to a greater than 50% reduction in cardiovascular death in over 65s.
The research analyzed the relationship between leisure time physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk and mortality in 2456 men and women in a period between 1997 and 2007. Scientists point out that physical activity is highly important and although it becomes challenging as we age, it is crucial to stick to “safe” intensity levels.
The importance of physical activity is well-known and although it is widely believed that you have to exercise every day to experience benefits, the latest research proves otherwise. Scientists at the University of Sydney discovered that weekend warriors experience same benefits as well.