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The Rise of Weekend Warrior: Exercising 1 or 2 Times a Week Can Still be Beneficial

Jan 10, 2017 05:50 AM EST

A new study revealed that packing the recommended amount of weekly exercise in just one or two session could have the same beneficial effects when it comes to reducing the risk of all-cause mortality as to what regular weekly exercise offers.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that people who tends to be a weekend warrior, those who are more active during the weekends, were less likely to die than those who did not exercise at all.

"I think it's important to reassure people that if they are a weekend warrior, if they are only exercising once or twice per week, and it's of moderate or vigorous intensity, then that's good enough," said Gary O'Donovan, a research associate in physical activity, sedentary behavior and health at Loughborough University and lead author of the study, in a report from CBC News.

For the study, the researchers analyzed self-reported data of more than 63,000 adults collected from 1994 to 2012. The researchers divided the participants into four groups based on the amount of exercise they reported. The groupings include: the inactive; the regular exerciser; weekend warriors; and insufficiently active. The regular exercisers and weekend warriors meet the WHO guideline of at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. However, weekend warriors are those who packed their weekly amount of exercise in just one or two sessions. On the other hand, people in the insufficiently active group have less amount of exercise than the recommended amount, while the inactive did not exercise at all.

Over the study period, the researchers recorded 8,802 deaths from all causes, 2,780 from cardiovascular disease and 2,536 from cancer.

The researchers observed that the weekend warriors have 30 percent lower risk of overall death compared to those inactive. Additionally, weekend warriors also have 40 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and 18 percent lower risk of death from cancer than those who did not exercise at all.

While the result of the research is quite promising for the weekend warriors, some experts warn that people should not overexert themselves during weekends. They also recommend weekend warriors to ease their way to high impact sport to prevent potential injuries.

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