jogging for life
July 29, 2014

Just 10 Minutes Of Running Each Day Can Reduce Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease Death

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Running can significantly reduce a person’s risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, but you don’t have to be preparing for a marathon to see the benefits, according to a new study appearing in Monday’s edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

While the US government and the World Health Organization (WHO) each recommend 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week, the study found that as little as five to 10 minutes of running at slow speeds is enough to reap the heart-health benefits of the activity, explained HealthDay News reporter Dennis Thompson.

[ Watch: ISU Research On The Benefits Of Running ]

As part of the study, lead author Dr. Duck-chul Lee, an assistant professor in the Iowa State University Kinesiology Department, and his colleagues examined more than 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 over a period of 15-years in order to establish whether or not there was a link between running and longevity.

They obtained data from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, in which participants filled out questionnaires about their running habits. When compared to non-runners, those regularly participating in the activity had a 30 percent lower risk of death from all causes, and were 45 percent less likely to die from heart disease or stroke.

Furthermore, the study determined that even running less than seven minutes per day, fewer than six miles, or less than six miles per hour all reduced a person’s risk of dying, according to The Guardian. Those who ran for less than one hour per week benefitted as much as those running for over three hours per week, the UK newspaper added.

“The study tells us that doing some exercise is clearly better than doing none at all,” Clyde Yancy, a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a cardiologist with the American Heart Association, told Hoai-Tran Bui of USA Today.

On average, runners were found to live three-years longer than non-runners, and The Guardian reported that study participants who ran regularly for an average of six years experienced the biggest health benefits. The study authors said that those men and women cut their risk of death from stroke or heart disease in half.

However, as Thompson pointed out, running even 30 to 59 minutes each week (equal to approximately five to 10 minutes per day) was associated with a 28 percent overall reduced risk of death when compared to no running at all. Likewise, these individuals had a 58 percent reduced risk of death from heart disease versus non-runners.

“Since time is one of the strongest barriers to participate in physical activity, the study may motivate more people to start running and continue to run as an attainable health goal for mortality benefits,” Lee said in an American College of Cardiology statement. “Running may be a better exercise option than more moderate intensity exercises for healthy but sedentary people since it produces similar, if not greater, mortality benefits in five to 10 minutes compared to the 15 to 20 minutes per day of moderate intensity activity that many find too time consuming.”

“Protecting ourselves against life-changing conditions like a heart attack or stroke should be everyone's top priority,” Christopher Allen, a senior cardiac nurse with the British Heart Foundation, told The Guardian. “What this study proves is that when it comes to keeping physically active, every step counts towards helping you maintain a healthier heart. Breaking your exercise down into 10-minute chunks can make this goal much more achievable and can help prolong your life by reducing your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.”

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