Exercising 150 Minutes a Week? If So, it Doesn't Matter When

Clustering your cardio can be just as effective as spreading it out

The exercise information saga continues.

Last week we reported about how spreading out workouts is good for reviving metabolism and preventing injury. This week, a study comes out saying that if you're doing 150 minutes of exercise in one day or over the course of a week, it makes no difference in terms of preventing metabolic syndrome. Both approaches are effective.

Metabolic disease is a collection for risk factors for heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes, such as a large waist size, high blood pressure and low blood sugar. These conditions have some genetic factors, but are largely brought on by poor diet and not getting enough exercise. The study here is basically saying, “Exercise is exercise.” And by exercise they meant cardio.

Queens University researchers sent physical activity monitoring devices called accelerometers to 2,324 adults. They were instructed to wear the devices for a week. After that week, the accelerometers were sent back for analysis. The researchers also used health information gathered from the subjects. They found that it didn’t matter if the participants worked out two days a week or five, as long as they reached 150 aerobic minutes of exercise per week.

This result suggests that as long as someone reaches 150 minutes of exercise per week—a fairly large time commitment for most people—it really doesn’t matter how the workouts are divided up. This is good news considering the hectic schedules many people have on weekdays. Getting and staying active on the weekends may be enough to prevent future health problems.

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