Struggling to find 40 minutes daily for heart-healthy exercise due to work? No guilt needed; weekends can compensate. A recent JAMA Network study suggests exercise amount, not timing, prevents heart issues. Analysing 90,000 people with accelerometers, scientists found similar heart attack and stroke risk reduction in weekend warriors (1-2 days/week) and consistent exercisers.
Dr. Virendar Sarwal from Ivy Hospital, Mohali, explains that weekend exercise for busy professionals is better than none, but spreading activity across the week evens musculoskeletal stress. Weekend warriors’ intensity of exercise must be normal to avoid harm. Dr. Sarwal prefers consistent weekly exercise and emphasises diet’s role in heart health. Dr. Sudheer Saxena, Head of Cardiology at Max Hospital, Mohali, confirms the study’s common-sense notion. He explains the “morning walk only” myth, starting with any exercise benefits. Brief, brisk sessions (walking, running, cycling, swimming) five times weekly maintains overall health. Exercise timing matters less than duration. Warm-up is crucial, and post-meal exercise should be avoided. Dr. Jeet Ram Kashyap from Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, says any activity’s value and advocates moderate-intensity exercise. Maintaining 70% of the target heart rate (220 minus age) through walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling is effective. Consistency matters in endurance building.