WE get it; time is of the essence, and often, exercise falls right down the list of priorities. Or in many cases it just drops off completely.
Especially during the week when work schedules, family commitments and social plans just take over.
But if you fancy catching up on those missed minutes of exercise, new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine journal, 関与する 350,000 participants, has revealed it’s the type and total amount of exercise that counts, rather than the actual number of sessions.
Could this suggest that an epic weekend workout is just as beneficial as a little and often everyday approach?
It’s definitely good news for those who struggle to cram in any form of exercise during the week.
現在, the NHS recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, such as a brisk walk, or a bike ride.
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So is it wise to be a weekend warrior?
While fitness levels might not be impacted by the actual number of sessions, other areas of your life likely will be.
実際には, cramming all your exercise into the weekend might not be ideal for a number of reasons…
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Doesn’t help with overall wellbeing
Despite the new study’s results, Natasha Ram, personal trainer at F45 Mill Hill, says everyday movement is the key to a better quality of life.
“Everyday movement allows us to look after our mood and physical wellbeing, and can often set us up to have a productive and positive day.
“I would say that everyday movement actually improves our overall quality of life, leaving you feeling energised – especially if you opt for a shorter burst of exercise in the morning.”
She adds that moving every day also supports a healthy, hormonally-regular sleep pattern, which in turn aids muscle recovery and helps keep blood sugars steady.
Steady blood sugars mean fewer food cravings, and fewer cravings can help support weight loss.
There’s also the feel-good benefits that come with regular movement.
“Exercise triggers the release of feel-good chemicals called endorphins,” explains Natasha.
実際には, although the NHS does give recommendations on the amount of exercise we should be doing each week, they do advise that we spread exercise evenly over four to five days a week.
They also advise that we do some form of physical activity everyday including strength exercises (such as weight lifting, ヨガ or even gardening), while also trying to avoid staying seated for lengthy periods of time.
そう, bad news if you spend all day sitting at a desk.
Could lead to injury
Maria Eleftheriou Head trainer at fitness studio Psycle (psyclelondon.com) says if you’re someone who spends all day everyday sitting down at a desk with minimal movement, intense weekend workouts might end up being quite a shock to the body.
“You may then be at more risk of straining muscles, causing injury, and you may find you fatigue quicker.”
Won’t build strength
Natasha says if you’re looking to get stronger and build muscle with strengthening workouts, it’s unlikely to happen if you’re only exercising on a Saturday and Sunday.
“While weekend workouts are a great way to maintain your fitness in the short term, it is unlikely that you will make substantial strength gains by exercising twice a week.
“Limiting yourself to weekend workouts will tire your muscles out, preventing muscle growth.”
She adds that only working out on the weekend does not leave your body with enough time to recover in between workouts.
The optimal workout routine, when you’re short on time…
If you do find yourself unable to factor in any planned exercise during the week, then choosing the right weekend exercise can make all the difference, and contribute to good health.
“If you only have time to exercise at the weekend, you don’t want to over train just one area of the body, so I recommend mixing things up with a variety of different workouts for maximum benefit to your health,” says Maria.
“I suggest you switch things up daily, so you might focus on your upper one day, incorporating some weight training, then mix this with a cardio focus the next day or a lower body workout, such as barre or Pilates.
“Try to include some yoga and stretching alongside this, so your body can work intelligently and productively across different training styles.”
Natasha adds that if you want a full body workout on the weekend, then an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) style workout might be best.
Set a timer for 15 または 20 分, choose four or five exercises, and complete as many rounds as you can in the time allocated, with no rest.
Incorporating more movement in the week
You might want to incorporate physical activity into your social life, if you find yourself short on time to move during the week, says Natasha.
“Going for a walk with friends is a great way to do this and low impact aerobic activity is sometimes all you need to reap the rewards of everyday movement.
“Everyday movement doesn’t always have to mean an intense, heavy gym session!」
Other ways include parking a little further from work and walking the rest, swapping the lift for the stairs and even exploring the idea of walking meetings; head out and take the call as you walk instead!