Good news if, like me, you hate running, but you like the health benefits of cardio. I tend to get antsy if I spend more than 20 minutes on a treadmill, because I start thinking of all the productive things I could be doing rather than running in place. According to the Mayo Clinic, running for about 15 minutes a day, five days a week is the optimum amount of “extreme exercise” any one person may need.
The Mayo Clinic decided to look at research with more than 500 runners that has been gathered for the last 15 years, to try and figure out exactly what the benefits of strenuous exercise versus moderate exercise really is. They’ve found that 75 minutes of running a week, or 105 minutes of walking, is all that’s needed to significantly lower your chances (up to 45%) of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. On the flip side, about one-third of lifelong marathon runners die of heart failure.
You might be one of those people who, for some reason, loves to run triathlons (in which case, I don’t understand you, even though I’m married to one of you), so this study may give you pause, but it might be worth considering that you are still healthier than someone who never exercises at all. It’s also worth noting that the benefits of doing something that makes you happy wasn’t taken into account in the study, and common sense dictates it’s still better than being miserable. Still, it never hurts to discuss your exercise regimen with your doctor to make sure you’re not overdoing things.
And for those of us who would just… rather not… the benefits of a lower dose of exercise are clearly tremendous. The research shows that while you may be expending less energy if you walk instead (meaning your waistline may take much longer to shrink than if you jogged), three or four times as much walking as running about evens out, in terms of heart health. For every five minutes you run, it’s equal to about 15 minutes of walking. And if you’re concerned about joint pain, walking has less of an impact on your knees and hips.
Whatever the case, running is considered “extreme exercise training” here, which means it’s already more strenuous than what you need to do day-to-day to fight against diabetes and obesity. Run 10 minutes a day and make sure you rest your body at least twice a week, and you’re doing the right thing to boost your health.
via Huffington Post