Friday, January 13, 2017

The Weekend Warrior Phenomenon

Picture by Naval Surface Warriors from Flickr
We see a fair amount of "weekend warriors" in our clinics. By definition, a weekend warrior is a person who holds a regular 9-5 job and has a family to take care of on a daily basis. They are usually too busy to exercise on a week day so they try to cramp all their exercises on the week end.

In other words, these weekend warriors are compressing their total physical activity into one or two prolonged runs, bike sessions or a single vigorous basketball or football game each week.

We see them in our clinics because they are more likely to face a higher risk of sports-related injuries than people who exercise more often. This may be due to the fact that their sessions are more vigorous and are higher intensities compared to those who exercise more regularly.

However, published evidence from a large study of 63,591 adults showed that exercising even just once or twice per week  appears to be enough to significantly reduce all-cause mortality risk.

The risk of death from all causes was nearly 30 percent lower among weekend warrior adults compared to inactive adults. Risk of cardiovascular (or heart) death was 40 percent lower for weekend warriors while the risk of cancer death was 18 percent lower.

Among those who exercised regularly compared with the inactive group, risk of death from all causes were 35 percent, 41 percent for cardiovascular death and 21 percent for cancer death respectively.

As you can read, the researchers concluded that such fitness regimes (that are restricted to one or two days a week) can be almost as effective as those who require you to work out on a much more regular basis.

If you look at the stats more carefully, you'll see that the weekend warriors were mostly male and nearly half exercised only once a week. Almost 90 percent reported that their exercise occurred during vigorous sports like competitive running and cycling or team sports like football.

So even if you do not have the time to exercise in the week day, that single session you do on the weekend is gonna be of benefit too.And if you do get injured (hopefully you don't), you can come and get treated in our clinics.

Reference

O'Donovan G, I-Min Lee, Hamer M et al (2017). Association Of "Weekend Warrior" Amd Other Leisure Time Physical Activity Patterns With Risks For All-cause, Cardiovascular Disease, And Cancer Mortality. JAMA Int Med. Published online 9 Jan 2017.
 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8014.

*Thanks to Rachel Wong for helping me with the photo above.

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