The benefits of exercise are almost endless, and there are loads of studies to prove it. The benefits of staying active include improved mood, better cognitive performance, increased insulin sensitivity, a healthier heart, better sleep and more. While you should make exercise a regular part of your daily routine, you may be one of those people who claim they simply don’t have time for it. If you are, you’re in luck. According to a recent study, running even just once a week offers serious benefits.
Researchers in Australia, Thailand and Finland examined 14 studies which included a total of 232,149 people between the ages of 5 ½ and 35 years old. In the studies, the health of each participant was tracked. The researchers analyzed the information to determine the association between running or jogging and the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer and all causes. They found that any amount of running lowered the risk of death from all causes by 27% for both men and women, compared to no running.
The results also showed that any amount of running was linked to a 30% reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 23% reduced risk of death from cancer.
Even the smallest amount of running in the study — running just once a week for less than 50 minutes, at a speed of less than 6mph — was shown to reduce the risk of dying from all causes.
While the study was small and couldn’t establish a direct cause and effect, or determine exactly how much running a person should do to reduce their mortality risk, the results suggest that lacing your sneakers and going for a run even just one day out of the week offers significant benefits.
Exercise is a key component of health and wellness. Unfortunately, nearly 80% of U.S. adults do not get the recommended amount of aerobic and strength training activity. Although you may find it difficult to find time, once you discover the benefits of including even a short workout in your day, the question will become, how can you afford not to? As well as the cardiovascular, weight loss and longevity benefits of exercise, those who are most physically active also have better brain oxygenation, brain activity and cognitive function.
Time to dust off those running shoes?