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Exercise quantity not frequency matters

Adults who do 150 minutes exercise over one or two days get as much health benefit as those who exercise more frequently throughout the week.

Woman doing crossfit

A new study has found that 150 minutes of exercise has no extra health benefit if it is condensed into one or two exercise sessions rather than being spread throughout the week.

It had previously been thought that people who exercised on a frequent basis may have been healthier than those who exercised once or twice a week.

Dr Janssen, from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, who led the study, said: "The findings indicate that it does not matter how adults choose to accumulate their 150 weekly minutes of physical activity.

Same health benefits

"For instance, take someone who did not perform any physical activity on Monday to Friday but was active for 150 minutes over the weekend.

"They would obtain the same health benefits from their activity as someone who accumulated 150 minutes of activity during the week by doing 20 to 25 minutes of activity on a daily basis."

A Norwegian study published in June suggested that only 12 minutes of extreme exercise a week was enough to stay fit.

Scientists said that three four-minute bursts of vigorous physical activity was all that was required to increase oxygen intake levels and lower blood pressure.

All scientists agree exercise is healthy

While there may be some discrepancy among scientists about how much or how long you should exercise for, most agree that any form of exercise has many health benefits.

These can include reducing the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Advantages of exercise also extend to social and mental benefits and regular activity can improve your mood and boost your immune system or self-esteem.

Some health insurance providers will offer you a discounted gym membership to help you get involved in more physical activities.

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Hugh Currell

Hugh Currell

Hugh Currell covers health-related news and features for Hugh graduated in journalism and was the editor of a current affairs magazine for a year.

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