While some people hate running, they just might want to start. Scientists at Iowa State University who analyzed 55, 137 adults aged 18-100 found that healthy exercise doesn’t have to be extensive or time-consuming. They have published their findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
They actually followed participants for 15 years, during which more than 3000 died. The findings were as follows. Runners, who only made up 25% of the study’s population, had a 30% lower risk of death from all causes and a 45% lower risk of death from heart disease and stroke than did non-runners. They also lived three years longer.
Even more surprising was the amount that you need to run. These found these results for people who ran less than 51 minutes a week – only seven minutes a day. This was true for people who ran slower than six miles an hour and fewer than six miles a week.
As lead scientist Dr Duck-Chul Lee explained, “Since time is one of the strongest barriers to participate in physical activity, the study may motivate more people to start running and continue to run as an attainable health goal for mortality benefits. Running may be a better exercise option than more moderate intensity exercises for healthy but sedentary people.”
He goes on to explain, “[This is because] it produces similar, if not greater, mortality benefits in five to 10 minutes, compared to the 15 to 20 minutes per day of moderate intensity activity that many find too time consuming.”
So how long do you have to keep running? Study participants who ran on a regular basis for six year experienced the biggest benefit. This amount of activity reduced their risk of death from heart disease by 50%.