It can take a lot of time to stay in shape, but a new study according to a Trusted Source article in JAMA, “weekend warriors” may have the same cardiovascular health advantages as people who visit the gym frequently.
According to a study, exercising at least 150 minutes per week can lower your chance of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib) or having a stroke. And those 150 minutes may be evenly distributed throughout the week or may be devoted to the weekend.
- A “weekend warrior” is someone who squeezes in a full week’s worth of activity in a few days.
- Afib and stroke risk can be reduced by 150 minutes of exercise per week, according to a recent study.
- According to the study, persons who exercise regularly over several days had a 35% lower risk of suffering a heart attack while weekend athletes have a 27% lower risk.
Healthy hearts and physical activity have long been linked. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has long advised engaging in 150 minutes of physical exercise during the course of the week to maintain optimal heart health.
A “weekend warrior” is someone who squeezes in a full week’s worth of activity in a few days. Most of the time, maintaining a certain level of fitness is necessary to benefit from being a weekend warrior’s health benefits and prevent injury.
In the recent study, the medical records of approximately 90,000 individuals were examined, including those who were inactive, spread their weekly activity out across 150 minutes, and were “weekend warriors.”
“The current American recommendations do not state that you must spread out your physical activity. This result is actually fairly in line with our expectations. Dr. Bethany Gibbs, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at West Virginia University School of Public Health, stated that the recommended amount of time is 150 minutes per week. “Even though I believe people think they should spread it out, this result might help people feel like if they have more time during the weekend, they may be motivated to achieve a little more,” the author says.
Gibbs wasn’t a part of the investigation.
research on weekend warrior workouts needed
Even if the study’s findings were in line with those of other research, it’s vital to note a few restrictions.
This data collection originated from the UK Biobank, which is fantastic because it [contains] a large number of individuals. However, the fact that the majority of those [in the research] are healthier is not ideal. According to
scientifically proven methodologies, almost two-thirds of the population meets the [recommended exercise] recommendation. That is far greater than what we would anticipate in the overall American population, according to Gibbs.
The study, she continues, exclusively examines cardiovascular outcomes. There is proof that spreading out workouts across several days is helpful for those with diabetes since it encourages glucose control.
The American Diabetes Association advises patients with diabetes to exercise five to six days a week and to attempt to wait no longer than 48 hours between workouts.
“I’d like to see the study done again looking for those outcomes,” Gibbs added. “I have a feeling the outcomes would be different,”
Benefits of being a weekend warrior
The “weekend warrior” routine is excellent for persons who are limited on time during the week in addition to the cardiovascular advantages. The results demonstrate that cardiac health can be attained even with shorter bouts of physical activity. This approach can have comparable results for folks whose schedules prevent them from exercising every day.
Exercise provides equivalent protection against cardiovascular disease regardless of whether a person is a “weekend warrior” or spreads out their activity throughout the week, according to Tanayan. “We used to advise people to spread out their exercise throughout the week, but the findings of this study show us that emphasizing it on the weekends when they have more free time is also a good recommendation, especially if this pattern is doable for someone’s busy lifestyle.”
Weekend warriors lowered afib risk by 25%
The UK Biobank, a prospective cohort of more than 500,000 persons registered between 2006 and 2010, served as the study’s source of participants. Participants in the substudy wore wrist accelerometers for a week to monitor their physical activity.
The evidence suggested that both focused and dispersed exercise reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. Weekend athletes had a 27% lower risk of having a heart attack, while those who spaced out their activity over many days had a 35% lower risk.
The study also discovered that weekend athletes’ risk of heart failure was 38% lower than that of regular exercisers, who had a 36% reduced risk. Both the risk of arterial fibrillation (22% and 19%) and the risk of stroke (21% and 17%) were reduced.
“Risk reduction is between 20 and 40 percent on average. This is significant, said Dr. Christopher Tanayan of Lenox Hill Hospital. It’s comparable to taking a cholesterol-lowering drug.
How difficult should exercises be?
People who don’t want to engage in hard exercise may find the term “weekend warrior” off-putting because of how intense it looks. The good news is that achieving the best results doesn’t need straining oneself to the absolute limit.
“[For this study] they were counting every single minute of exercise, and that may have been why they had the results they did,” Gibbs continued. “When you hear the phrase ‘weekend warrior,’ you probably picture individuals running 10 miles. However, this data set indicates that they are examining activities during the entire day. It’s not necessary to run 10 miles.
According to a recent study, those who limit their exercise to one to two days, or “weekend warriors,” can still reap significant benefits for their heart health from these workouts.