How a minimal amount of running can significantly cut your risk of premature death
(NaturalHealth365) Do you only have time in your schedule to run just once per week? Research suggests even that’s enough to enjoy some serious running benefits.
A recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in BMJ reveals that even a small amount of running can decrease the risk of death from any cause, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Short on time for running? New meta-analysis shows some really great health news!
The new paper, which was published in the fall of 2019, collectively analyzed the results of 14 studies representing a total sample of 232,149 participants. These prospective cohort studies initially investigated the link between jogging or running and all-cause mortality. After combining and systematically assessing the studies’ results, the reviewers of the recent BMJ paper found several surprising and downright promising results:
- First, any amount of running – regardless of how fast, how far, and how often – was correlated with a 27 percent lower risk of death from all causes for both men and women.
- Any amount of running was also associated with a 30% reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 23 percent reduced risk of death from cancer. All of these reductions in risk were compared to no running at all.
- Further assessment determined that there was “no significant dose-response trends for weekly frequency, weekly duration, pace and the total volume of running.” The evidence even showed that running just once per week (or less!) for under 50 minutes and at just 6 miles per hour (that’s a 10 minute mile pace) was associated with improved longevity.
In other words, it’s not clear (at least not yet) what the exact “prescription” should be to optimize your running benefits. But it’s safe to say that even hitting the track, treadmill, or neighborhood pavement a couple times per month could make a significant impact.
Other studies corroborate “some is better than none” when it comes to jogging – and reveal these 5 extra health benefits, too!
The results of this meta-analysis is consistent with other research, including a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. As reported by Harvard Medical School, this earlier study showed that even as little as five to ten minutes per day of low-intensity running can add several years to your lifespan!
Of course, anyone who wants to do more than this “bare minimum” is welcome to. And the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggests at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity on most or all days of the week. But what we love about this new research is that it sets the bar low – which may remove the self-limiting beliefs a lot of people have about exercise.
You know, this idea that if you don’t have an hour every day to workout, some fancy workout equipment, and/or a pricey gym membership, then you may as well not do anything at all. If people only knew how even a small amount of exercise is better than none, it may encourage lots more people to get moving!
And let’s not forget about the many other health benefits of running proven by science – as if a reduced risk of death isn’t good enough. Here are 5 reasons to pencil in a 5- to 10-minute jogging session tomorrow:
- Great way to slow the aging process
- Reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity
- Boost your mood, creativity, and focus
- Great way to reduce stress
- Improves your quality of sleep
One final note: If you’re “new” to jogging, don’t overdo it. Take your time and enjoy the process. Remember, “slow and steady” wins the race.
Sources for this article include: