How much would you pay for an extra three years on the planet? I expect most people would part with quite a bit of cash to get that. Well, you can have it for the cost of a pair of running shoes and five minutes a day of your time. At the same time you would become fitter and healthier, and reduce risks of living your life with heart disease.
According to a study released today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which looked at over 55,000 adults between 18 and 100 years old, those who ran even just five minutes per day at slow speeds saw a significant reduction in death by all causes. Persistent runners seemed to have the biggest benefit, those who got out for a run regularly, over a significant amount of time lived longer and had fewer health problems compared to those who did not.
What’s really interesting about this is that you didn’t continue to gain much benefit if you ran more than five minutes per day, on average, or if you ran faster during that time. It was all about getting out and getting your heart rate raised on a regular basis. This is great news if you have little time and the old excuse of “I’ve only got 15 minutes, it’s not worth it” is no good any more.
The NHS suggest that you need to do at least 75 minutes of running plus two days of weight lifting per week in order to “stay healthy”, but this study really does seem to indicate that just a small amount of running at a low speed will give you a significantly longer and healthier life. Hopefully this will get more people putting their trainers on and getting out for a quick jog around the block.