Exercise guidelines tell us to rack up at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week – which for some runners is a single Sunday long run. But can you really get away with cramming all your exercise into a few sessions, or do you need to spread it out through the week? Researchers at Queen’s University analyzed data from 2,323 adults who wore tiny accelerometers for a week to record their physical activity pattern. Among those who hit at least 150 minutes per week, there were no differences in health measures like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar between frequent exercisers (five times a week) and less frequent exercisers (one to four times a week). That doesn’t mean you can get away with one or two runs a week if you’re preparing for a race – but it does suggest that when a busy work week cuts into your exercise time, you can catch up by getting a little extra exercise on the weekend.
– Alex Hutchinson