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Exercise Just Twice a Week to Live Longer
Who has time to exercise? Between the demands of your job, your commute and your family, there is about 10 minutes left at the end of the day for you. But you can reap most of the health benefits of regular daily exercise if you give it your all on the weekend, according to researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia.

Here is yet another reason to exercise! Find out why exercise not only benefits your muscles and bones, but also your brain.

Translation: Weekend warriors have a lower risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease--even if they are obese or have other medical risk factors--compared with those who never exercise.

The World Health Organization has long recommended that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise every week, which is typically thought to be done in three or more sessions a week. Such exercise is recommended to control weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. However, research has not yet established how the frequency and the total amount of exercise interact. That is, does it really have to be done over a five-day period or can it be done in two days--as long as the minutes add up to the same amount?

The study: Led by associate professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, the team examined data on 63,591 adult men and women who participated in one of two health surveys, the Health Survey for England and the Scottish Health Survey, specifically looking self-reported physical activity.

Activity patterns were defined as the following:
1. Inactive (not reporting any moderate- or vigorous-intensity activities)
2. Insufficiently active (reporting less than 150 minutes a week in moderate exercise and less than 75 minutes a week in vigorous-intensity activities)
3. Weekend warrior (reporting 150 minutes a week in moderate exercise and less than 75 minutes a week in vigorous-intensity activities done in one or two sessions)
4. Regularly active (reporting 150 minutes a week in moderate exercise and less than 75 minutes a week in vigorous-intensity activities done in three or more sessions)

Key findings:

  • Compared with those who reported no physical activity, all-cause mortality risk in the insufficiently active was 31 percent lower, 30 percent lower in weekend warriors and 35 percent lower in the regularly active.

  • Compared with those who reported no physical activity, mortality risk from cardiovascular disease in the insufficiently active was 37 percent lower, 41 percent lower in weekend warriors and 41 percent lower in the regularly active.

  • Compared with those who reported no physical activity, cancer mortality risk in the insufficiently was 14 percent lower, 18 percent lower in weekend warriors and 21 percent lower in the regularly active.

The study findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Find out an easy trick to make exercise a habit.

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