'Weekend warrior' workouts still effective in reducing heart disease risk, study finds

Even though the American Heart Association recommends exercising 30 minutes a day, five times a week to improve overall cardiovascular health, people who get 150 minutes of moderate exercise in just one or two sessions still see benefits, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers conducted an analysis of 63,591 responses to English and Scottish household-based surveys, taken from 1994 to 2012. They looked at associations between "weekend warrior" and other physical activity patterns and the risk for death from cardiovascular disease and other causes.

They found risk of death from all causes was 30 percent lower among weekend warrior adults compared to inactive adults, and risk of cardiovascular death was 40 percent lower for weekend warrior adults.

In fact, frequency and duration of activity did not appear to matter to those who simply met the physical activity guidelines.

"The weekend warrior and other physical activity patterns characterized by one or two sessions per week of moderate- or vigorous-intensity physical activity may be sufficient to reduce risks for all-cause, CVD and cancer mortality regardless of adherence to prevailing physical activity guidelines," the study concludes.

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