Weekend Warriors: Fighting the Good Fight

Ever heard of weekend warriors? No, they’re not the back-up team for Captain Planet. They’re people who don’t exercise all the time, but when they do, they go all out. The question that one group of researchers asked is whether that style of exercise is the same as regular exercise and if it’s better than no exercise at all.

Before we jump into their findings, they used the World Health Organization’s recommendations for what defines regular exercise:

150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week

Here are some examples of activities in these categories:

Moderate Vigorous
Leisurely biking Circuit training
Slowly climbing stairs Fast-paced swimming
Walking at 3 mph Running at 5 mph or faster

They broke people up into 3 groups:

  1. Inactive – no moderate or vigorous activity
  2. Insufficient physical activity – less than the recommended amount of exercise
  3. Weekend warriors – meeting the recommended exercise level, but doing it in only 1 or 2 sessions per week
  4. Active – meeting the recommended exercise level in 3 or sessions per week

What they found may shock you… but should motivate you. Basically, any physical activity was better than none. Specifically, people that did any amount of moderate or vigorous activity died less from cardiovascular disease (i.e. heart attack and stroke) among other reasons and even had less death from cancer.

If there wasn’t a good reason before, then here it is. Doing something – even anything – is better than nothing when it comes to physical activity. You don’t have to run a marathon to win this race.

If you have questions about your heart, ask here. If you want to learn about your risk of heart disease and get personalized information about how you can stay heart-healthy, click here to see how Heartbeat can help you.

Published by: Mark P. Abrams, MD

I'm an Internist, Educator, and Cardiology fellow in training. As the Director of Patient Engagement at Heartbeat Health, my goal is to make trustworthy information easily accessible and more available so that people can become more active members of their healthcare teams. By joining together, we can work toward keeping more people healthier, happier, and living longer fulfilling lives.

Categories Exercise, LifestyleLeave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s