'Weekend Warrior' Workouts May Reduce Health Risks, According To New Study

Setting aside time to exercise during the busy work week can be a struggle. In good news for the "weekend warriors" who can only squeeze in time at the gym on Saturdays and Sundays, a recent study from the University of Sydney suggested that exercising one to two times per week may be enough to reduce health risks in both men and women.

"It is very encouraging news that being physically active on just one or two occasions per week is associated with a lower risk of death, even among people who do some activity but don't quite meet recommended exercise levels," said Emmanuel Stamatakis, associate professor at the University of Sydney and the study's senior author.

"However, for optimal health benefits from physical activity it is always advisable to meet and exceed the physical activity recommendations."

According to the World Health Organization, adults should do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense activity or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week.

The study gathered data from 63,591 adults from England and Scotland who reported exercise habits from 1994 to 2012 in the Health Survey for England and the Scottish Health Survey, CNN reported.

Analysis showed that, compared to the adults who reported no exercise activities, those who worked out one to two times per week had a 40 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, 30 percent lower risk of overall death, and 18 percent lower risk of death from cancer.

However, the study did not look at risk of injury for "weekend warriors," nor did it establish the frequency of physical activity per week that would optimize health benefits, as opposed to simply reducing risks.