Even A Little Bit Of Running Can Extend Your Life, Scientists Say


There goes another excuse for skipping that run.

If you were tempted not to go for a run today because you didn’t have enough time, go get your sneakers.

Researchers have found that as little as five minutes a day could help you live longer, no matter how fast (or slow) you go. A recently published study confirmed the results of 15 years of research showing the benefits of running, even for a short amount of time each day. In the study, runners were 40 per cent less likely than non-runners to die during the 15-year duration of the study.

The original study looked at the running habits of 55,137 subjects and compared how much they ran with their risk of death; the new study, which was published in the scientific journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, adjusted those original results to take into account the subjects’ existing health problems, complicating factors such as smoking, and what other physical exercise they engaged in besides running.

The results? People who run at any speed, for any amount of time, are more likely to live longer; even running for a few minutes a day can extend your life. How much? The study found that running for one hour can add seven hours to your life. Do the math, and that means putting in two hours of running per week could make you live about three years longer.

But don’t go overboard: the study found that the benefits of running plateau at around four hours per week. Running much more than that won’t add more than three years to your life. And anyway, the World Health Organization recommends only 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise and 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio workouts a week.

So instead of clocking extra hours on the treadmill – or the streets – try taking a hot bath, which research has found to be just as good for you as running.