You stand a better chance of living a longer and healthier life than people who don't run according to a study published last year in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The study followed over 500 people - runners and non-runners - over a 20 year period. Although runners decreased their average amount of time per week from four hours at the start of the study to a little over an hour by the end of the study, runners had less disability and fewer early deaths from conditions such as cancer, infections, or neurologic disease.
The lead author, Professor James Fries told the BBC News, "The study has a very pro-exercise message. If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise. The health benefits of exercise are greater than we thought."
But, is it running that delivers the benefit or is it the aerobic nature of the activity?
Aerobic exercise is not limited to running. You can cycle, swim, or perform resistive exercise and make your heart and lungs work too. "Cardio" is no longer king. What this study shows is that people who exercise over their lifetime are generally healthier and live longer. They used running as a means to achieve those benefits.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that the health benefits of exercise appear at 150 minutes per week and increase at 300 minutes per week. This is at least moderate intensity exercise . The more intense the exercise, the less total time is required to achieve the health benefits (for example, you can cut 150 minutes per week to 75 minutes if the exercise is vigorous). And remember, if you're not sweating, it's not exercise (yes, there are exceptions for the exceptionally fit, highly competitive athlete).
So, how many minutes per week are you investing for your self?
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