It’s Fine to Do All Your Exercise One Day a Week, Kind Of

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Photo: Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

Whether or not being busy is a status symbol, the fact is that between grinding all day at work and maintaining some semblance of connection with other humans in your personal life, it’s exceedingly difficult to get time in for exercise — part of why long commutes have a way of making you fat.

But this week there arrived a glimmer of good news for the beating of our hearts, in the form of a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine. It tracked more than 63,000 adults — 55 percent female, average age of 58 — over nine years.

The researchers found that people who met the World Health Organization guideline of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week in one or two sessions — weekend warriors, if you would — had a 30 percent reduced risk of mortality compared to people who didn’t work out.

Like Claire Maldarelli points out at Popular Science, the weekend warriors had a 40 percent reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease and 18 percent lower cancer rates than people who lived without fitness.

“The present study suggests that less frequent bouts of activity, which might be more easily fit into a busy lifestyle, offer considerable health benefits, even in the obese and those with major risk factors,” wrote lead author Gary O’Donovan, of the University of Leicester, and his colleagues. If you’re only getting a run in once a twice or week, remember this: The best runners are astonishingly chill.

It’s Fine to Do All Your Exercise One Day a Week, Kind Of