If you are someone with a busy schedule who can’t workout five days a week, let alone every day, then you are certainly part of the majority. People with families, bills, pets, jobs, hobbies, and more have some much going on that it seems like working out just doesn’t pass the cut. Or you could be one of many who simply aren’t athletically inclined and don’t want to spend an hour at the gym or outside running. Whatever the case may be, there is some great news. According to recent research, you can embrace nearly the same health benefits as those who exercise regularly if you simply exercise occasionally.
Is Barely Working Out Still Better Than Not At All?
You may have been in a position where you ask yourself if working out once or twice a week is actually helping you improve your health at all. Is it really making a difference, or are you just wasting your time if you don’t have a daily exercise schedule? Luckily there is now more sound of an answer.
Research taking place from 1994 to 2012 collected data from two national health surveys. Thereafter, participants were placed into 1 of 4 categories based on their exercise level:
- Inactive (no activity)- 63 percent
- Insufficiently active (active less than recommended weekly)- 11 percent
- Regularly active (recommended weekly workout performed within three or more workouts)- 22 percent
- Weekend warrior (recommended weekly activity performed within one or two workouts)- 4 percent
The primary focus of the study was mortality rate’s link to physical activity, including possible connections to death from heart disease or cancer. The results were particularly surprising, since those who exercised once or twice a week lowered their risk of early death by 30 to 34 percent, in comparison to those who were sedentary. These numbers are just slightly under the 35 percent decrease in risk that regular exercisers experienced.
Making sure that you workout the recommended weekly value seems to be enough if you’re looking to live a long and healthy life. Whether you do it in a span of three to four times or one to two times doesn’t seem to make a huge difference. High intensity interval training could be the answer for anyone on a busy schedule or who wants to get their exercise done and over with.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that you engage in 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise weekly or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity. You should also be incorporating strength-training at least twice a week.
Stick to these benchmarks and have an exercise plan that fits into your schedule. You could be experiencing further benefits from exercising regularly, however avoiding heart disease, cancer, and premature death can be avoided by a simple exercise routine.
So what are you waiting for? Go do some interval sprints or grab some dumbbells. A heart healthy life is waiting for you! Good luck!