Is it OK to exercise just once or twice a week?

If you don’t get time to exercise daily due to your busy work schedule, spend…

Is it OK to exercise just once or twice a week?

If you don’t get time to exercise daily due to your busy work schedule, spend more time at the gym on weekends. Researchers say it’s how long you exercise that matters and not how often. You should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or just 75 minutes of intense exercise per week, as recommended by the World Health Organization’s (WHO). If you spend this much time at the gym on Saturdays and Sundays, you’re likely to be as healthy as someone who exercises all week long. Also Read – Running mistakes that could sabotage your efforts

A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that weekend-only exercisers can reap the same benefits as those who work out five days a week. The formula is simple; exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, if time permits. But if your schedule is such that you can only get to the gym or visit the park on weekends, try to complete your weekly recommended 150 minutes in those two days. Also Read – 5 lifestyle habits that are increasing your numbers on the weighing scale

Five days a week or two days a week: Which one you prefer? Most fitness experts recommend the first one if time is not an issue. This is because people who exercise on weekends rarely meet or exceed the recommended guidelines. So, weekend-only exercisers! It may be a good idea to squeeze in another session during the week to reach the recommended target. Also Read – 6 best dumbbell exercises to sculpt your back

Any amount of exercise can reduce your risk of dying

If you think a once-weekly gym date can make your membership fees go waste, imagine the amount of money you would be spending on the treatment of an illness.

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggested that exercising just once or twice a week can reduce your risk of dying from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all other causes.  The study compared exercise habits to death rates among over 63,000 men and women between 1994 and 2012. It was found that compared to inactive people who never exercised, those who did any amount of exercise had about a 30 percent lower risk of death all around.

What matters the most is hitting the World Health Organization’s recommended threshold of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, whether those minutes were spread between one, two, or six workouts per week.

Beware of overtraining syndrome or burnout

More is not always good when it comes to exercise. Overtraining may slow down your progress or even backfire. There should be rest and recovery periods between workouts to allow your muscles to recover from the possible damage sustained during the previous workouts.

Rest days are also important to avoid overtraining syndrome or burnout, which occurs when a person trains their body beyond its ability to recover.

Overtraining can lower your fitness level, negatively affect your performance, and cause injuries.

Too much exercise without enough rest in between can lead a decrease in testosterone levels and an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone. These hormonal changes may lead to loss of muscle tissue, weight gain, and excess belly fat. In addition, mental or physical exhaustion may make it difficult to stay motivated to work out.

Published : September 20, 2020 4:03 pm | Updated:September 21, 2020 9:42 am

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