If you've been committed to working out during the week, in the hope that your 'regular' exercise regime is better for you, then stop now. New research suggests that it's just as effective to join the ranks of the weekend warriors who cram all their weekly activity into Saturday and Sunday sessions. According the study (reported by The Guardian), which looked at 60,000 adults in England and Scotland, exercising regularly or daily during the week is just as effective as exercising on the weekend.
The only catch is, you need to be reaching the recommended physical activity target - in the UK this is 150 minutes of moderate activity like walking or 75 minutes of vigorous activity like running. In Australia, our guidelines are slightly more ambitious: 150-300 minutes of moderate activity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous activity. Either way, as long as you're hitting those targets, benefits such as reduced risk of death, cardiovascular disease and cancer are yours for the taking.
"Weekend warriors are people who meet the recommended volume of physical activity each week through only one or two sessions. There are doing a large proportion of vigorous exercise and that makes you fitter than moderate exercise," explains Gary O'Donovan, the author of the Loughborough University study.
According to the research, weekday exercisers enjoy a 35% lower risk of death compared to inactive adults, 41% reduced risk of cardiovascular death and 21% less risk of cancer death. By comparison, weekend warriors have a 30% lower risk of death, 40% reduced risk of cardiovascular death and 18% less risk of cancer death. We reckon that's reason enough to keep scheduling those weekend coffee-and-walk sessions with your bestie.