Pixabay

If you're someone who loves to exercise and post about it all over Instagram, then more power to you. There's nothing quite like seeing your friends constantly talk about their workout routine to get you motivated... or not. If you're anything like me, then all of those pictures might make you a little bit jealous and a little bit annoyed because you just can't seem to find the time to keep a consistent workout routine. Well, there's good news: A new study has revealed that you only need ONE day of exercise to reap all of the usual benefits associated with physical activity. Hooray! 

More from MamásLatinas: Kim & Kourtney Kardashian's intense butt & abs workout routine

Here's the deal: According to Glamour, researchers at Longhborough University in England looked at four groups of exercisers from 1994 to 2012. They examined people who did not work out during the week but hit it hard over the weekend, those who worked out a couple times a week, those who spread out their workouts and those who didn't exercise at all. 

The results, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, revealed that those "weekend warriors" (and those other two groups who exercised) had lower risks of heart disease and cancer as well as lower death rates overall. In what is basically obvious, those that didn't work out did NOT see any health benefits. Basically, what all of this means is that exercising just once a week can have plenty of disease preventing benefits as well as mental health benefits. It's good news for those of us who don't like to make time to get out of bed early for that morning workout during the week. In order to reap all of the benefits of exercise while only working out once a week, read on for our 10 best tips. 

 

1. Embrace the weekend warrior lifestyle. 1

If you want to work out just once a week, it's definitely possible. What you'll need to do is embrace the weekend warrior lifestyle, meaning that you work out only on the weekends. This has the wonderful effect of freeing up your weeknights to take care of the kiddos, have a special date night with your hubby or simply go to bed early. Really, anything you do is up to you since you don't have to worry about exercise until Saturday or Sunday!

Advertisement

2. Fuel up before heading out. 2

If you're going to be a weekend warrior, then you need to take the warrior thing seriously. What we mean is: warriors need fuel! You won't be able to get the most of your workout without a healthy meal beforehand. Aim for something that has plenty of protein, carbs and healthy fats. An avocado toast with hummus or poached eggs on the site is ideal. You can also use last night's arroz leftovers, scramble them with eggs and add in some nuts. The dish will be crunchy, simple and delicious. 

Advertisement

3. Do 150 minutes of moderate exercise. 3

In order to really conquer this whole weekend warrior thing, you can't just rely on half an hour on the elliptical machine. You'll need 150 minutes of moderate exercise to reap all of the benefits. Basically, that's two and a half hours of walking, jogging, biking or any other exercise that barely breaks a sweat. If you can keep going for this amount of time, then working out just once a week will surely be a breeze. 

4. Start your day off on the right note. 4

The question of WHEN to work out always comes up. Although the study authors didn't question whether weekend warriors worked out in the mornings or at night, it's best to start your weekend off on the right foot and get your workout in before the kiddies, familia and everyone else demands your attention. You'll begin with a sense of accomplishment if you get your exercise in first thing. Sure, it may be sad to NOT hit the snooze button, but remember: Napping later is always an option!

Advertisement

5. Or go for 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise. 5

If two and a half hours of consistent exercise just doesn't sound that great, then an hour and fifteen minutes is all you need. However, this is when you will want to step things up and do some serious working out--whether that means running or Zumba, that's up to you. But you'll want to break out a serious sweat during those 75 minutes. It's all about cardio and burning off the excess from earlier in the week, right?

6. Make sure you hydrate! 6

One of the worst things you can do while working out is to not keep properly hydrated. Your body is sweating for 75-150 minutes, so you need plenty of water. Why is water important to working out? According to Livestrong, not only does drinking water help replace the fluids you lost during your workout but it also aids in weight loss. This is especially crucial on hot days or if you are working out in a hot room, since you will lose a lot more hydration. So bring that water bottle with you everywhere!

Advertisement

7. Try high-intensity interval training for results, too. 7

If neither of those options sound all that appealing to you, then you can do for HIIT: High-intensity interval training. Although the study didn't test those that did this type of exercise, it is typically highly regarded because it combines moderate and more intense workouts. Here, you can alternate between cardio and weight training for optimum results. 

8. Yes, snack after working out too. 8

If you are working out in the morning, then you probably had a big breakfast before your exercise routine. Good job! But when coming out of the gym or coming back from your run, you might be starving all over again. This is because you burned off most of the energy you earned with your early meal. In order to keep yourself energized throughout the rest of the day, it's important to replenish some of your energy sources. Go for a healthy snack like almonds. They will keep you full while providing plenty of protein (for your muscles that just got a beating) and healthy fats. 

Advertisement

9. Spread your workout over one to two days. 9

The good news for weekend warriors is that they don't have to stress about doing all of their exercise in one day. Although, yes, one day is an option as long as you adhere to the total amount needed, you can also split up your workout between Saturday and Sunday. Want to go for 45 minutes of intense exercise one day and just half an hour another day? That's fine. Or maybe you want to take an hour and a half walk one day and an hour-long bike ride the next day? That's fine, too. 

10. Don't forget to stretch. 10

Do you know that it's exceedingly important for you to take the time to stretch before AND after your workout? According to Fit Day, stretching is important because lactic acid builds up in your muscles while you exercise and this can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. When you stretch, it helps to reduce that fatigue. You also help to increase blood flow and circulation and helping your muscles to recover faster. Many people give up their workout routines due to soreness, so this is a surefire way to make sure you keep going next weekend, too.