We get it: our schedules are hectic and between working, seeing friends, attending soccer games, running errands, and sneaking in some you-time, getting in the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week can seem unfeasible. Out of these unforgiving schedules has emerged the “weekend warrior” trend where American adults condense their workouts into one or two days a week. A recent study summarized in the Washington Post found that this has almost the same benefits of more frequent exercise: weekend warriors have a 30-percent lower mortality rate than those who get no physical activity.
A JAMA Internal Medicine study tracked 63,000 British and Scottish adults from 1994 to 2012. Though exercise was usually constrained to one soccer game or tennis match a week, it often exceeded the 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate activity recommended by U.S. activity guidelines.
The study also looked at the “insufficient exercisers,” another group of 63,000 participants who only worked out 60 minutes per week but still had a significantly decreased mortality rate from those who never exercised. This research shows that it’s the total amount of exercise, rather than the frequency, that determines the benefits reaped.
Overall, those who fared best were those who exercised regularly, three or more times a week for a total of 450 minutes, even if the activity was less intense than that of the “weekend warriors.” Their mortality rate dropped by 35 percent. When picking a workout program, it can be helpful to discuss your health history with an orthopedic physician to minimize risk of injury.
Unfortunately, 63 percent of the subjects reported they didn’t exercise at all and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over half of American adults don’t get sufficient aerobic activity. Hopefully, this new research will motivate formerly sedentary adults to take advantage of any opportunity to exercise, even if it’s not regularly throughout the week.
Joint pain impacting your ability to exercise? Consult with one of our orthopedic doctors in Seattle and surrounding areas to learn what surgical or non-surgical options may be right for you. Specializing in procedures including ACL surgery and knee arthroscopies, our orthopedic physicians will help you return to an active and healthy life.