Total Exercise Time More Important Than Frequency
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A little exercise each day is better than a couple of big sessions a week, right? Not according to recent Canadian research which found that as long as you are putting in the time, results are not greatly affected by the way in which that time is distributed.
For the study, a team from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario studied 2,300 Canadian adults to monitor whether the frequency with which they exercised had any effect on their diabetes, heart disease and stroke risk. For the purposes of the study the participants were classified as either frequently active (five to seven days weekly) or infrequently active (one to four days weekly).
Study subjects who performed 150 minutes of exercise a week, but over fewer sessions, were not less healthy than subjects who worked out on most days of the week.
Study author Dr Ian Janssen said ‘The findings indicate that it does not matter how adults choose to accumulate their 150 weekly minutes of physical activity. For instance, someone who did not perform any physical activity on Monday to Friday but was active for 150 minutes over the weekend would obtain the same health benefits from their activity as someone who accumulated 150 minutes of activity over the week by doing 20 to 25 minutes of activity on a daily basis.’
He concluded ‘The important message is that adults should aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes of weekly physical activity in whatever pattern that works for their schedule.’
Source: Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.
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