Packing a week of exercise into your weekend may still have its benefits

January 27, 2017

cycling-bicycle-riding-sport-38296The World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (or 75 minutes of intense activity) each week for healthy adults.

Many of us fall far short.  And some try to make up for it with a long run or vigorous workout on the weekend.

Good news, weekend warriors:  A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds those who meet the recommended minimum level of aerobic activity, even if it’s one or two runs or workouts a week, have a “significantly lower risk” of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease or other causes compared with those who do nothing at all.

The study included data on self-reported exercise habits and the overall health of 63,591 adults in England and Scotland from 1994 to 2012.

The weekend warriors mostly committed themselves to high-intensity exercise, Gary O’Donovan, a research associated at Loughborough University in England, told CNN.

“Quality may be more important than quantity,” he said, adding that the benefits were about the same for men and women.

Despite the often-cited health benefits, other data show nearly 1 in 4 adults (24 percent) engaged in no leisure time physical activity.

If you’re part of the “no activity” group or simply have made a resolution to become more physically fit in 2017, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition offers a free online activity and tracking tool plus information and inspiration to get you started.

Voices for Affordable Health features a growing list of resources that can help you and your family: