Weekend Workouts: A Shortcut to Fitness?

Recent Research Suggests Weekend Exercise Can Provide Similar Cardiovascular Benefits as Regular Weekday Workouts

For many individuals, the demands of the workweek often leave little time for exercise. However, a groundbreaking study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that concentrated physical activity during the weekend may offer comparable cardiovascular benefits to spreading out exercise throughout the week. The study, which followed nearly 90,000 participants, has sparked a discussion among experts about the effectiveness of weekend workouts and their potential impact on overall health.

The Empowering Findings of the Study

The study, led by Dr. Shaan Khurshid, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, challenges the conventional wisdom that recommends 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. According to the research, engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 150 minutes over the weekend can yield similar health benefits. Dr. Khurshid emphasizes the importance of finding a routine that works for each individual, stating, “It doesn’t matter so much how you get it. The important thing is that you do get it.”

Weekend Warriors Rejoice

The findings of the study are particularly encouraging for individuals with busy weekday schedules who struggle to find time for exercise. Kathy Odds, a weekend warrior who participates in a running group on Saturdays, expresses her gratitude for the opportunity to prioritize her physical and mental well-being. As a bank employee with long workdays, she finds it challenging to fit exercise into her daily routine. The social aspect of weekend workouts provides an additional mental boost, enhancing her overall well-being.

The Benefits of Weekend Workouts

Aside from the convenience factor, weekend workouts can also be advantageous during the colder months when daylight hours are limited. By utilizing the weekends for physical activity, individuals can make the most of the available daylight and combat the effects of shorter, darker days. Moreover, weekend workouts offer an opportunity for individuals to engage in higher-intensity activities such as running, cycling, or team sports, which can further enhance cardiovascular fitness.

The Importance of Frequent Movement

While the study highlights the benefits of concentrated weekend exercise, it’s important to note that other research suggests the value of frequent movement throughout the day, especially for those who have sedentary jobs. Dr. Keith Diaz, an exercise physiologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, emphasizes the significance of incorporating regular light walks throughout the day to counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting. His research indicates that a five-minute walk every half-hour can help offset the risks associated with excessive sitting, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.


The recent study published in JAMA has sparked a new perspective on exercise recommendations, suggesting that weekend workouts can be a viable alternative to spreading out physical activity throughout the week. While concentrated exercise on the weekends offers similar cardiovascular benefits, it’s important to strike a balance between intense weekend sessions and incorporating frequent movement into daily routines. Whether it’s a weekend jog, a leisurely walk, or a quick stroll during work breaks, finding a routine that works for each individual is key. Ultimately, the goal is to prioritize physical activity and reap the numerous health benefits it provides.






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