Researchers have found that condensing exercise into a few days is as effective as spreading activity out across a week. Dr. Wes Troyer, a Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, explains how people who stack their workouts can avoid common injuries and reap the benefits of their activity.
Exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. For those on a time crunch, stacking weekly exercise into a couple of days comes with the title “weekend warrior.”
“Things like running, jogging, high-intensity workouts, ideally, the more that you can do, the better. People that did this, lowered mortality, lowered cardiovascular events,” says Dr. Troyer.
At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity is recommended for adults each week.
“We don’t expect people that have gone from a sedentary activity of not doing anything to jumping into 150 minutes a week. So taking days of break in between, assessing how your body responds to that activity,” says Dr. Troyer.
Repeating the same motions or ramping up too quickly could lead to overuse injuries, inflammation and pain.
“If you take a couple days off and it’s still persistent pain with daily activity—pain that keeps you up at night or keeps you from sleeping—these are all things that we typically recommend people coming in to be evaluated,” he says.