Good news for the time-challenged and exercise-averse. A comprehensive study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running just five minutes per day reduced risk of premature death by 30 percent and added three years to life expectancy. Sound too good to be true? Keep reading for more details.
The broad, long-term study monitored the exercise habits of more than 55,000 adults in the Dallas area for between six and 22 years.
About a quarter of the participants described themselves as runners, and they were 30 percent less likely to die of any cause during the study than the non-runners. Remarkably, those who ran less than 10-minutes a day seemed to derive the same benefit, in terms of mortality, as the high-mileage runners.
Researchers calculated it takes only 30 – 59 minutes of running per week to reduce the risk of premature death. Here’s a summary of the study in The Los Angeles Times. Since the study was focused on mortality, it didn’t cover other health benefits associated with more prolonged exercise such as weight control, “runner’s high” and strengthening muscles and bones.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week to work the legs, hip, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.