Is Exercising on Just the Weekends Enough to be Healthy?

Exercising regularly is probably one of the best actions that one can take to improve their health and stay fit. Regular exercise has been noted to prevent degenerative diseases, reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases and can increase the lifespan of individuals by a significant number of years. But not everyone has the time to exercise regularly each day of the week. With a large number of people sinking more than 12 hours a day into their work and commuting alone, it becomes very hard to add regular exercise to the schedule.

For many, the weekends emerge as the only days where people can regularly work out. Thankfully, research has found out that working out even just twice a week can confer many of the health benefits that working out every day can provide.

According to the World Health Organization, adults between the ages of 18–64 should be doing 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, think walking or biking at a slow pace, in a week. They can also do 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, think swimming or running, in a week instead or any combination of moderate and intense aerobic activities.

Along with the aerobic activity, they should also be doing muscle-strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity, think weightlifting or callisthenics, at least 2 times a week, for additional health benefits. These strengthening activities should target all major muscle groups of the body (hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, pecs, latissimus dorsi, deltoid, triceps and biceps, rectus abdominis, and trapezius among others).

These activities can be done within 1-2 hour workout sessions on the two days of the weekend to receive the health benefits of physical activity. While more frequent sessions of physical activity with adequate nutrition and rest can confer more benefits, that’s not feasible for every individual.

But most importantly, the WHO and other health agencies advise individuals to reduce the time spent sitting in one place or being sedentary as much as possible. However much you can exercise in a week, remember that even a little exercise is better than no exercise.

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