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Running 5 to 10 Minutes a Day Could Extend Life Study Says

Don’t have time to exercise? It is understandably one of the biggest obstacles in our busy lifestyles to maintaining a regular exercise regime. However, what if carving our a mere five to ten minutes a day could give you additional years of life in return? Would you find the time? In the largest, most comprehensive study examining the long-term benefits of running on reducing all-cause mortality researchers found that running just a short amount of time each daysignificantly reduced the risk of death from all causes and for cardiovascular cause of death.

The 15-year study included 55,137 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 to determine the relationship between running and longevity.  Participants shared data about their running habits in a questionnaire compiled in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. Over the course of the study, 3,413 people died, of which 1,217 were deaths from cardiovascular disease. Of these 3,414 people, 24 percent reported leisurely running as part of their regular exercise regime. Looking at runners versus non-runners, researchers found runners reduced their risk of dying from all causes by 30 percent and 45 percent from heart disease or stroke.

The good news is you don’t have to necessarily be a very fast or rigorous runner.  A leisurely pace for no more than five to ten minutes a day reaped the same benefits as faster runners who ran for more than three hours a week. Lead author of the study, DC Lee, Ph.D., said in a recent interview these findings should motivate less active people. "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," Lee said. "Running may be a better exercise option than more moderate intensity exercises for healthy but sedentary people since 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."

Running, the authors say, could be just as important as preventing hypertension, obesity and smoking. Benefits were conclusive among the population regardless of length, intensity, speed or frequency of running and most of all, the same regardless of sex, age, body mass index, health conditions, smoking status or alcohol use.

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