When it comes to high intensity cardiovascular exercise, running is a top choice for many people. It can be done virtually anywhere, and requires no gym membership or fancy equipment, except a pair of good running shoes.
While you may assume that the more you run, the healthier you will be, this is not necessarily the case. New research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found that slow running for a mere five to ten minutes per day can have some of the same benefits as running for longer – and that overdoing it can actually be harmful.
For the study, researchers surveyed the data of 55,137 adults with an average age of 44. Their running frequency and duration was analyzed based on their answers on medical history questionnaires. For an average follow-up period of 15 years, the researchers kept track of how many people died from all causes, and specifically from cardiovascular events.
Researchers found that individuals who ran on a regular basis lived about three years longer than those who did not run. Individuals who ran each week were found to be 45 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular-related causes, and 30 percent less likely to die from any cause. The researchers also discovered that these results were the same for individuals that ran less than one hour per week and those that ran for over three hours per week.
This study highlights how just a little bit of running can go a long way when it comes to health. Furthermore, the researchers note that excessive running – pushing yourself too hard, can have negative consequences, such as heart attacks as well as joint damage. Also, as we previously reported, too much high intensity exercise over a long period of time has been linked to injuries and worsening of hypertension.
Incorporating running or another form of high intensity exercise is an excellent choice for your health (unless you have a medical condition, in which case check with a doctor), but be careful not to overdo it. Be sure to let your body rest between sessions, and switch up high intensity exercise with moderate exercise, such as brisk walking.
One great way to mix up high intensity and lower intensity exercise is through interval training, which includes short, intense bursts of exercise intermixed with less strenuous movement.
-The Alternative Daily