Good news for workaholics! Being a ‘weekend warrior’ when it comes to exercise is just as good as working out every day, study suggests

Good news for workaholics! Being a “weekend warrior” when it comes to exercise is just as good as working out every day, research suggests

Being a “weekend warrior” promotes heart health just as much as exercising daily, new research suggests.

People who cram exercise into one or two sessions on Saturdays and Sundays significantly lower their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Those who exercised vigorously a few times a week reduced their risk of a heart attack by 27 percent, compared to 35 percent for those who exercised regularly.

This exercise pattern protected against heart attacks, heart failure, stroke and atrial fibrillation (Afib) – the most common form of irregular heartbeat.

Good news for workaholics!

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital studied data from 89,573 participants in the UK Biobank, which contains information about their genes and health.

Participants wore accelerometer wrist devices for a week and were followed for an average of more than six years.

It is recommended that adults do at least 150 moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise each week.

Being weekend warriors and regularly active, they reduce their risk of heart failure by 38 and 36 percent, respectively, atrial fibrillation by 22 and 19 percent, respectively, and stroke by 21 and 17 percent, compared to those who do little or no exercise.

Experts said the findings have implications for those who struggle to find time because of work or family commitments.

They may find it easier to fit in less frequent bouts of physical activity into a busy lifestyle, according to the findings presented in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The NHS recommends that moderate to vigorous physical activity (MPVA) be spread evenly over four to five days a week – or every day.

The study identified a pattern of weekend warriors as common – applicable to more than half of active individuals.

Different activity patterns were found to have similar associations with a lower risk of AFib, heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

The rate of musculo-skeletal injuries was also similar in both groups – worrying concentrated bursts of energy increased the risk.

The findings suggest that engagement in physical activity, regardless of pattern, may optimize risk for a broad spectrum of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Patrick Ellinor, of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, said: ‘Our findings suggest that interventions to increase physical activity, even when concentrated within a day or two a week, may improve cardiovascular outcomes’.