Most of us are too busy with work and other commitments to focus on our fitness. A vast majority of us would say that we do not have the money to invest in a gym membership or exercise equipment. So basically, we leave our health in the care of our gods, and hope we wake up in the morning. As sad as that might sounds, it is an undeniable fact that most of us are to preoccupied with other things to focus on what matters most, our health.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle because you are busy, too broke or simply uninterested, you are definitely missing out. Studies show that the simple act of running each day can increase our lifespan by a whopping 3 years.
It Isn’t About Speed
Most of you are probably shaking your heads and thinking this is merely heresy. The fact is that studies have been done, factors have been considered and it still shows that running does help us live significantly longer. The shocking part is that you don’t need to run faster to get this health benefit, you simply have to run.
Studies done by scientists like Duk-chul Lee, who is an assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University claims that you do not even have to run a lot to reap these benefits. Currently, our guidelines state that we should get at least 75 minutes of running or any other aerobic activity per week. However, new studies show that people who exercise less can still achieve the average 3 extra years. Even if you run less than 6 miles a week, or clock in less than 51 minutes, you still get these health benefits. Apparently, people who run regularly for less than an hour each week will still reduce their risk of death, comparable to that of runners who do more than 3 hours weekly.
This study was done on 55,000 adults from age 18 to 100. Each participant was followed for 15 years. This helped establish the co-relation between running and a longer lifespan. A quarter of this test group were runners. All the participants were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their running habits. The researchers also kept track of those who died during the study phase. This is where they discovered that those who did not run lived an average of three years shorter than those who did. They succumbed to stroke or heart disease. Running is linked to a shocking 30% lower risk of dying from any cause. It is also linked to a 45% lower risk of both stroke and heart disease.
Studies showed that the benefits were similar, considering factors like weight, drinking and smoking. They all got the same benefits, despite the different speeds, durations, running time, distance and frequency, which is something most sedentary people should consider.
Just 5 to 10 Minutes A Day
Running 5 to 10 minutes a day will allow you to enjoy a longer lifespan, based on the research. You enjoy a 28% lower risk of death by any cause along with a 58% reduced risk of dying due to heart disease. However, please note that persistence pays off. If you run consistently for the next 6 years, you should maximize these benefits. Please note that studies also show that there was an improvement in the fitness of people who run and that one’s fitness does increase based on the amount of time one spends running.
Things To Watch Out For
Please note that even runners get their share of injuries. Muscle pulls, back pain, shin splints, joint issues and ankle sprains can occur. Obese people are more likely to experience joint problems, due to their weight. So if you are larger, you might consider walking for a longer amount of time to gain access to these benefits.
Tips And Tricks
The best thing to do would be to understand what your body can handle. Start off slow for the first week or so. If you feel ready to increase your speed or duration, then you can give it a shot. By knowing what your body can handle, you are avoiding potential injuries. Since running is a vigorous and intense activity, you will spend less time on it, compared to walking. However, you should start at your own pace, making sure that you can follow through on your commitment to health and fitness.
You might want to start by running on a treadmill, as it will help you keep track of your pace, distance and speed. If you are a sedentary individual, it would be best if you enrolled in a gym, as you would have access to good equipment and knowledgeable trainers. They can help you increase your pace, teach you tips and tricks that every runner should know and encourage you if you ever feel like slacking off. Planet Fitness has affordable prices, perfect for the wannabe runner who is more or less broke. Now all you need are running shoes to get started. Fitness does not have to be expensive.