Attention everyone who hates to run: Turns out, you only need to torture yourself for about five minutes a day to reap some important health benefits like adding years to your life.
According to a new study published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, those who jogged or ran for as little as five minutes a day reduced their risk of premature death by about three years.
USA Today quotes the study's lead author, who says those who run for less than an hour a week reap the same health benefits as those who run more, regardless of age, gender or health conditions. "More [running] may not be better in relation to health benefits."
To get these results, researchers studied the exercise habits of more than 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 over the course of 15 years."
They found, compared to those who didn't run at all, those who ran less than an hour a week were 30 percent less likely to die for any reason during the course of the study.
And on top of that, those runners were also 45 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.
A cardiologist and chief medical officer of Virginia Heart in northern Virginia told CNN, "That's important to note. Even with all the negative factors, such as obesity, smoking and diabetes, those who were, let's say, obese and ran had a less likely chance of dying from heart problems than those obese people who didn't run. Same with smokers, diabetics, etc."
And other studies have gone one step further -- finding that taking your running routine to the max on a consistent basis may do more harm than good.
Research presented at the American College of Cardiology back in April found those who run more than 20 miles a week have shorter life spans compared to non-runners. In fact, they apparently live, on average, about as long as people who don't run much at all.
It seems consistency is key here. The study found those who ran consistently over a six-year period gained the most health benefits: 29 percent saw a lower risk of death, and 50 percent had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
The researchers advise those who want to start running should start off slow with walking, then move to jogging and running.
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