Weekend warrior workouts: Squeezing in enough physical activity

Long hours at work, kids' activities and household chores, have many lacking the time to fit in a workout. However, when the weekend rolls around, some get in as much physical activity as they can.

The term “weekend warriors” is what this segment of the population has been named.

According to an article today on the Detroit Free Press website, “They work out hard on the weekends but often can't squeeze in much physical activity during the week because of work, travel commitments or family obligations.”

Fitness author and director of preventive medicine research at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Tim Church, said that cramming all of your activity into two days is not the optimum schedule but it is better than being sedentary.

He said, “There are immediate benefits to working out, including better blood sugar control for 48 hours after. The other immediate benefits include improved sleep and mood and reduced stress and depression.”
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As a trainer, I agree that these benefits are not only physically, but also psychologically, helpful. When you exercise, you feel empowered and tend to have a positive body image.

The reason for this is endorphins. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.”

Researchers at Harvard agree that there are still some benefits to limiting your activity to just weekends. In a prior study of retirement aged men they found that those “who burned 1,000 extra calories a week doing one or two sessions of physical activity were less likely to die early than their couch-potato peers.”

According to the CDC, government recommendations for exercise are 150 minutes a week. Harvard Researchers say that it is possible to meet those requirements during your weekend activity.

But experts agree that ideally you want to do something during the week as well to keep up the benefits. The CDC suggested, “break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. As long as you’re doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least ten minutes at a time.”

Those regular bouts of exercise will help you reap the benefits in many ways, reiterated the Mayo Clinic. “Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety.”