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