A new study has revealed that daily running helps in reducing risks of cardiovascular diseases that might lead to death, regardless of duration and speed. It was found that running for only a few minutes a day or at slow speeds might significantly reduce a person's risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to someone who does not run.
Exercise has been well-established as a way to prevent heart disease and as a component of an overall healthy life, but it was unclear whether there were health benefits below the level of 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity, such as running, recommended by the U.S. government and World Health Organization.
The study showed that people who ran less than 51 minutes, fewer than 6 miles, slower than 6 miles per hour, or only one to two times per week had a lower risk of dying compared to those who did not run.
Duck-chul Lee, an assistant professor in the Iowa State University Kinesiology Department in Ames, Iowa, said they found that runners who ran less than an hour per week have the same mortality benefits compared to runners who ran more than three hours per week, thus, it was possible that the "more" might not be the "better" in relation to running and longevity.
He further suggested that since time has been one of the strongest barriers to participate in physical activity, the study might motivate more people to start running and continue to run as an attainable health goal for mortality benefits and running might be a better exercise option than more moderate intensity exercises for healthy but sedentary people since it produces similar, mortality benefits in 5 to 10 minutes compared to the 15 to 20 minutes per day of moderate intensity activity that many find too time consuming.
Researchers also looked at running behavior patterns and found that those who persistently ran over a period of six years on average had the most significant benefits, with a 29 percent lower risk of death for any reason and 50 percent lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke.
The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.