No time to exercise on most weekdays? Don’t worry.

Scientists looked at data on 89,573 people aged 40 to 69 who wore an accelerometer for a week. Roughly 42 percent (“weekend warriors”) did more activity on one or two days than on the other five, 24 percent spread their activity over most days, and 34 percent were inactive.

Over the next six years, weekend warriors who had done at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise that week had a 27 percent lower risk of heart attack, a 21 percent lower risk of stroke, a 22 percent lower risk of atrial fibrillation, and a 38 percent lower risk of heart failure than the inactive group. The reduced risks were similar in those who spread their exercise over the week.

What to do

Walk briskly, jog, cycle, play pickleball, dance. This study can’t prove that exercise protects the heart, but it’s one more piece of evidence.

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