If you find that weekends are your only time to exercise, take heart, especially if you engage in longer, more intense activities on Saturdays and/or Sundays.

“The good news is that a recent study showed that exercisers like you have a lower risk of mortality compared to sedentary adults,” said Bruce Naughton, M.D., Univera Healthcare chief medical officer for Medicare.  “However, the jury is still out as to whether other benefits of daily exercise, such as controlling conditions such as high blood pressure, blood lipids and diabetes, hold true.”

Naughton adds that there’s likely a greater risk of injury, since most sports injuries occur when physical activity is inconsistent or infrequent.

If being a weekend warrior is the only way you can fit in physical activity, Naughton recommends these basic tips to reduce the risk of injuries:

Be realistic. Don’t attempt to run a long race or lift heavy weights if you haven’t worked out in a month.

Pay attention. Form and technique are always important when you exercise, but even more so when you do an activity inconsistently.

Listen to your body. If you’re feeling fatigued, slow down or take a short break.

Warm up and cool down. Begin with a 10-minute walk or jog followed by some stretching. At the end of your activity, cool down slowly with less intense movement to bring your heart rate back to normal. Include some gentle stretching.  

Take your time. Start your activity slowly, working up to more intensity over time.

Stay hydrated and properly fed.

Split your time. Rather than spending two hours in an activity, split it into smaller workouts throughout the day.