Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Infrequent exercise is better than none at all, studies show

infrequent exercise

It is well known that regular exercise has many health benefits, including weight management, reduced risk for certain diseases, and overall physical health. But what if you can only squeeze in exercise a couple of times a week? Is it enough to make a positive impact on your health? Studies show that exercising twice a week is not only better than living a sedentary lifestyle, it also may be just as beneficial as working out more regularly.

According to a 2006 study, out-of-shape adults who began exercising on the weekends eventually became as fit as people who exercised moderately five days a week. Although it is preferable to spread out workouts to avoid injuries and get longer-lasting health benefits, being a “weekend warrior” can have a positive impact almost instantly. It can help with blood sugar control, improve quality of sleep, and reduce stress and depression. Working out even a couple of times a week also reduces your risk of developing some types of cancer.

In fact, people who can only find time to work out on the weekends can still meet the minimum exercise requirements set forth by the government. It is recommended that you engage in 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per week, which can be achieved through two 75 minute workouts.

In the past, cancer patients were advised to minimize the amount of exercise they engaged in to avoid overexertion and fatigue. However, the new guidelines recommend cancer patients and survivors should exercise as much as their health will allow without causing medical issues. But remember to discuss the appropriate amount and intensity of your workouts with your care team to devise a safe and effective plan.

The bottom line is when it comes to exercise, ditch the all-or-nothing mentality. Instead of thinking there is no point in lacing up those sneakers every weekend, consider the positive impact even a little bit of exercise has on your well-being and do what you can to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Learn more about the benefits of exercise