A little running goes a long way. Jogging just five or six miles per week can have a positive impact on your health. This finding and others appeared in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings entitled Effects of Running on Chronic Diseases and Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality. The authors conclude with the following statement:
Substantial data indicate the marked benefits of vigorous aerobic [physical activity] PA and [cardiorepiratory fitness] CRF on subsequent health. Substantial evidence indicates that running, a common form of vigorous aerobic PA, has numerous health benefits, with some evidence indicating that benefits apparently maximizing at quite low doses of running. Although there may be some negative health consequences of [extreme exercise training] EET, such as prolonged running (eg, marathons and triathlons), which are relatively small, the overall benefits of running far outweigh the risk for most individuals and are associated with considerable protection against chronic diseases and [cardiovascular disease] CVD and all-cause mortality.
Maximum benefits of running even at low miles.
In a New York Times article about the review, lead author Dr. Carl J. Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, explains that running for 20 to 30 minutes, or about a mile-and-a-half to three miles, twice per week would appear to be perfect.
According to Dr. Lavie, one to two runs per week, or three to six miles per week, and well less than an hour per week’ can be quite beneficial.
For those who want to lose weight, the review suggests a run of a few extra miles each week as this is generally associated with better weight control. Jogging allows you to eat more calories without putting on the pounds.
Health benefits are significant.
The reviewers also found there to be significant health benefits for those who run a few miles a week. In comparison to non-runners or those who ran less than five miles per week, runners tended to weigh less and have less of a risk of developing:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Certain Cancers
Set an achievable running goal.
Given these finding, adding a jog to your exercise routine really makes sense. Start small and set an achievable goal that works for you and your schedule. Then stick to it. It may help you live longer and healthier, making you feel great with the results.