How to live longer: How often to exercise to ward off anxiety and boost longevity


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The official NHS recommendation is to exercise for 150 minutes each week. While this is how much the national health service suggests, it is the minimum they recommend. The more exercise someone engages in the greater the health benefits. Yet, as with when someone eats, timing can be everything.

The reason for this is because there are two schools of thought regarding exercise.

Some say the best way to exercise is to spread it out over the week.

Meanwhile others, sometimes referred to as “weekend warriors”, choose to conduct all of their exercise at the weekend.

A new study has found, despite the five-day gap, that people who do all their exercise at the weekend experience the same health benefits as those who spread it out over the week.

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Published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the authors concluded: “For people with fewer opportunities for daily or regular physical activity during their work week, these findings are important.

“These findings suggest that whether the recommended amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity is spread out during the week or concentrated into fewer days, there may be no significant difference in health benefits.”

Although the results of this study suggest people who save their exercise until the weekend, the American Heart Association (AHA) say exercise should be “preferably spread throughout the week”.

Nevertheless, the findings were described by Dr John Tabacco as “extremely encouraging”.


Cardiovascular exercise includes activities such as walking, running, and cycling.

Resistance exercise includes activities such as lifting weights

Which is the most effective?

There are debates over which is the most effective, with separate studies finding it can depend on what the targets of the person conducting the exercise are.



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