DR. MITCH: Weekend Warriors Rule!
We all know that being physically active reduces our risk of heart disease, helps to control our weight, will make cancer less likely and is good for us in many other ways.
The current recommendations are to be active during the day by not spending long periods of time seated and to try to get in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of really vigorous activity during the week. But what if you can only exercise once or twice a week? Will you still see the same health benefits if you can't exercise every day?
No one could answer that question definitively until now. A study published in the Internal Medicine Journal of the American Medical Association can now give us the info we need.
Researchers in the UK followed over 63,000 men and women aged 40 and older using data collected from 1994 to 2008 that they pooled together. They reported that people who were only able to exercise once or twice a week but who hit the mark in terms of the 150/75 minutes of exercise saw almost the same health benefits as people who accumulated that total over a week. There was a slight advantage to spacing it out over the week but the end result reaffirms the fact that being active is important and that as long as you build up to it properly and safely once you achieve the goal of 150/75 whether you do it in one or two sessions or over the entire week, the benefits are still there. This is great news for those of us who may not have the time every day. We can still benefit as long as we put in the time at least once or twice a week.
Hopefully this helps make at least one New Year's resolution a bit easier to live up to!