Hands up who doesn't have time to exercise during the week?
Hands up who thinks about it – about getting up at whatever time (3am) to fit in an hour's workout before office hours, or who thinks about heading to that session on the treadmill after a long and arduous day at your desks – but then decides life is too darn short and what you really need to do is rest?
Hands up whose weekend regime consists of some low-impact exercise – like walking for a couple hours whilst shopping on Saturday, and going for a morning jog on Sunday?
If this is you, and you've spent the last however many years berating yourself for not exercising enough, we give you permission to cease with this self-flagellation...
A major study has uncovered that those who exercise just once or twice a week – the 'weekend warriors' they've been dubbed – cut their risk of an early death by 30%!
Whilst the NHS and World Heath Organisation suggest 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise), the new study – which monitored 64,000 British adults over a decade – has revealed that just one session a week can be beneficial.
Gary O'Donovan – from Loughborough University, which headed up the research – wrote:
'The present study suggests that some leisure time physical activity is better than none ... and that, in those who reported meeting physical activity guidelines, frequency and duration did not matter.
'A particularly encouraging finding was that a physical activity frequency as low as one or two sessions per week was associated with lower mortality risks, even in the insufficiently active.
'Millions of people in England enjoy running, cycling, and sports participation at least once per week.
'Our weekend warrior participants undertook a large proportion of vigorous-intensity physical activity, and quality may be more important than quantity.'
D'ya hear that dear reader? 'Quality [may be] more important than quantity'? Hip-hip-hurray!
It's back to nodding respectfully at our colleague – who's dutifully run into work every day this year – before joyfully (and UNguiltily) tucking into our pain au chocolats.
Mmm, cutting ourselves some slack tastes good...