Running for just a few minutes a day can extend your life, study finds

Posted at 10:38 AM, Jul 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-29 10:42:08-04

Whether you plod or race, running, even for a few minutes, can reduce your risk of death from heart disease compared to those who don’t run at all.

That’s according to a new study published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers studied some 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 over a 15 year period, noting their overall health, if they ran and how long they lived.

Compared to non-runners, investigators found those who ran had a 30 percent lower risk of death from all causes and a 45 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

In fact runners on average lived three years longer compared to those who did not hit the pavement.

When data was broken down by age, sex, body mass index, smoking and alcohol use, the benefits were still the same. The speed at which runners ran made little difference.

Researchers also found those who consistently ran over a period of six years or more gained the most benefit, with a 29 percent lower risk of death for any reason and 50 percent lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke.

So if this gives you inspiration to start a running program – even for five to ten minutes a day – health experts say talk with your doctor.

Once you get the green light, get up and go.