Is it active every day or only on weekends? Both are good for the heart

People who exercise only on the weekend are less likely to develop heart problems than those who spread their efforts throughout the week. American research In Journal of Medical Sciences Jama The most important thing is that you move enough, not how often.

Both the Dutch Health Council and the World Health Organization recommend that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, this is coupled with a recommendation to spread the initiative over at least four days.

Many adults do not go to sports during the week. American cardiologists were interested in: Weekend Warriors, as they call those who stuff their game time into the weekend, worst case scenario? For example, do their heart health benefit less from the benefits of exercise than those who exercise less than five days a week?

Half a million Britons

Researchers looked at about 100,000 people who wore fitness meters for a week. The participants came from the UK Biobank, which contains information on the health of half a million Britons. They divided the large group into three subgroups: those who exercised at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity on at least two days, those who spread the 150 minutes over several days, and a third group ‘inactive’, those who exercised less than 150 minutes a week. It was immediately apparent Weekend Warriors Forms a majority among the active. More than half have 1 or 2 days of sport.

Then they looked: How often did these people experience a heart rhythm disorder, heart block, attack, or heart attack? Reassurance for those who don’t exercise during the week: Weekend athletes had no more heart disease over five years than those who exercised all week. Both groups of active people had a lower risk of heart problems than the group that did not meet the exercise standards, and there was no difference.

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On the one hand, the researchers addressed a question that immediately comes to mind when it comes to compressed games. If you exercise less, but exercise longer, don’t you get injured more often? That’s not clear from this analysis, the authors write, although they would like to see more research on the potential harms of exercising more on fewer days.

read more: The downside of high-intensity exercise is that it makes you very hungry

Smokers and drinkers

The researchers filtered out many people from the study population who could develop heart complaints for other reasons, such as smokers, drinkers and diabetics. But they still see some limitations. Participants walked with the fitness meter for a week and may have behaved differently than usual. They also address a frequent criticism of the UK Biobank: the disproportionate number of participants in that database are white. That said, you have to be careful about making generalizations about very different populations.

Nevertheless, all this does not change the results, which are consistent with previous indications that more moderate-intensity exercise reduces the risk of all forms of heart disease, regardless of exercise mode. Whether gardening or vacuuming is considered moderate-intensity exercise, the study is in line with the consensus that the biggest health gains come from doing nothing and moving.

Less than half Adults in the Netherlands reach the recommended 150 minutes per week. But there isn’t an absolute boundary between whether those 150 minutes are healthy or not, the relationship between exercise and health is a continuum. So a simple first recommendation from the Dutch Health Council: Exercise is good, more exercise is better. And sit less.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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