New study says exercising only twice a week could save your life

12 January 2017

WORDS BY Fashion Quarterly New Zealand

A photo posted by KIRSTY GODSO (@kirstygodso) on

Science is hooking us up with new motivation

If the idea of plugging away at the gym mid-weel is filling you with dread rather than inspiration, science shows you can now ditch your daily routine for a regular weekend workout – with practically the same benefits. Yus!

New research shows if you’re hitting exercise targets in just one or two sessions, you’re as likely to be getting the same health and fitness benefits as if you were exercising every day. That means more time for the things you love like sleep ins, coffee dates, beach time and reading Miss FQ!

The Guardian reports the study carried out on 60,000 adults in England and Scotland revealed those who crammed their exercise into weekends experienced almost the same level of health benefits as those who worked out more often.


The study’s author Gary O’Donovan said weekend warriors who hit physical activity targets could not only be as fit as daily exercisers, but could also reduce the impact from other health issues.

“Weekend warriors are people who meet the recommended volume of physical activity each week through only one or two sessions. There are doing a large proportion of vigorous exercise and that makes you fitter than moderate exercise.”

There is a slight catch though because you need to make sure you are reaching the recommended physical activity targets. In New Zealand this is 150 minutes of moderate activity like walking or 75 minutes of more vigorous exercise like running.

We know, it sounds super intense. But try think of it as quality over quantity, k?

Check out this Victoria’s Secret workout for inspiration:

Loading the player...

If the little but often approach works for you, you’ll be stoked to hear that data from the study showed those who exercised daily experienced a 35 per cent lower risk of death compared to those who did little or no exercise. Other good news for regular exercisers included at 41 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular death and a 21 per cent lower risk of cancer death.

In comparison, weekend warriors have a 30 per cent lower risk of death, 40 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular death, and 18 per cent less risk of cancer.

Combine a catch-up with your girl squad with a long weekend walk, and you’ll be more than halfway there!

Photo: Instagram / @kirstygodso

FQ Recommends

Subscribe & Become an FQ VIP

As a Fashion Quarterly subscriber you enjoy exclusive content, giveaways, invitations to VIP events, and more.

Subscribe & Become an FQ VIP

As a Fashion Quarterly subscriber you enjoy exclusive content, giveaways, invitations to VIP events, and more.

Sign up to the FQ newsletter and WIN*

Get the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle news delivered straight to your inbox each week.

*Ts&Cs apply.

Find out more at fq.co.nz/fq-newsletter