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Are you a Weekend Fitness Warrior?

Weekend warriors get as much out of their fitness


Are you finding it difficult to fit as much exercise into your week as you’d like? The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week for adults. That’s two and a half hours per week – does that seem daunting?


When you break it down into hour or half hour slots, it could be a brisk walk for an hour, an hour’s worth of Zumba and an online hand weights 30 minute session with me! So not quite so daunting but I know that this can still be a struggle for some.


If time is the issue, the NHS alternatively suggests 75 minutes of more vigorous exercise – like swimming or running – that’s an hour and 15 mins of high intensity fitness each week.


Recent research carried out in the US has found that squeezing your exercise into a smaller time slot is just as good for you as spreading it out over a whole week. So, for instance, if you can manage a 45 minute HIIT workout on a Saturday, followed by a 30 minute swim or run on a Sunday, you’re benefiting your body just as much as those who are doing less intense exercise more frequently throughout the week.


Good news for ‘weekend warriors’ and those who think they’re never doing enough! The study followed 350,000 people over a 10 year period and found that it’s the type and amount of exercise we do rather than the number of sessions that benefits us. So, the people who crammed the same amount of exercise into one or two workouts were gaining as much from it as the ‘little and more often’ brigade.


One small note of caution: the NHS would like us to be active every day, so this study doesn’t give us permission to sit at our desk, in the car or on the sofa all week and then push ourselves to the limit with a weekend workout. We should still get up from our desk, take a break from driving jobs and move more in our everyday lives – walk to the shops, take the stairs, have a walking meeting. You know the drill, we’ve talked about it lots before!


And don’t forget that gardening and active housework also count towards our 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Why not keep an activity diary and tot up the ‘hidden’ exercise as well as the intentional exercise you do. It’s a good way of seeing where the gaps are in your fitness and to give yourself some credit for having a busy, active life!


The key thing is, when it comes to exercise, it doesn’t really matter when or where you do it, just that fact that you’re doing it is brilliant. Whether you’re a Saturday/Sunday superhero or a Monday/Friday fighter, you’re doing your body good and keeping your mind healthy.


To create your own personal fitness programme with a mix of online and face-to-face workouts, check out the wide selection at www.gemmapearcefitness.co.uk.

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