Only Exercising On Weekends Can Be As Good As Doing It All Week Long, Study Finds

by Harley Tamplin

Kids, it's time for a confession: I'm really bad at dragging myself to the gym.

I mean, why work out when you can eat pizza, binge a Netflix show or hit up the nearest dive bar? It makes no sense.

But when I do go, I make sure to work hard. (You know, to make up for all the laziness the rest of the time).


Fortunately, people like me who only exercise a couple of times a week are not missing out on any health benefits compared to gym bunnies who pump serious iron every day, according to a new study.

The study by Dr. Gary O'Donovan of Loughborough University in England and published by JAMA Internal Medicine focused specifically on “weekend warriors,” the champions among us who leave all their working out to the weekend.

The study monitored the fitness of more than 60,000 adults and found people who completed a certain amount of exercise in one or two sessions significantly lowered their risk of getting diseases, like cancer.


Apparently, the mark you need to get to each week is 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.

The risk of death for people who reached that amount of exercise in the study was 30 percent lower than those who were inactive.

Those people also had a significantly lower chance of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or cancer.


Dr. Gary O'Donovan, who carried out the research, said,

The weekend warrior and other physical activity patterns characterized by one or two sessions per week of moderate or vigorous-intensity physical activity may be sufficient to reduce risks for all-cause, CVD and cancer mortality regardless of adherence to prevailing physical activity guidelines.

So, keep on putting that work in when you do find the motivation to exercise -- because then you can enjoy all those Netflix nights completely guilt-free.

Citations: JAMA Internal Medicine