Run For Your Life!

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A recent article in TIME Magazine titled “Running Can Help You Live Longer. More Isn’t Always Better” caught my attention this past week. In it the author describes that people may be able to get life-lengthening health benefits from small bouts of running, if incorporated consistently. 

 

The current recommendation by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is 75 minutes of aerobic exercise per week; but only half of the population is meeting this target. There is some good news however, new research now suggests that you can still attain similar health benefits by exercising far less than the 75 minutes recommended. 

 

In an analysis of 14 studies following 232,000 participants over five years, the following two findings were noted:

 

  • Runners who reported running any duration (in some cases less than 50 minutes per week) were 27% less likely to die compared to non-runners.
  • These runners had a 30% decreased chance of dying from cardiovascular risks, and a 23% decreased chance of dying from cancer!

 

These results alone should be enough motivation to start running. But there is more! Running is a great workout as it affects every system of your body. Here are some of the benefits that come with running:

 

  • Running helps strengthen both the upper and lower muscle of the body. Running can help strengthen our breathing muscles as well our lower leg and glute muscles, which can help prevent back pain.
  • Running is a great core workout, strengthening the abdominal muscles, which can also help reduce the chance of getting lower back pain. 
  • Running helps increase the blood vessel network in the body, which can help lower blood pressure.
  • Running uses up blood sugar, this helps to starve cancer cells, reducing the chance of cancer. 
  • Running can help improve anxiety and depression symptoms by releasing chemicals in the brain that can help improve mood and concentration.
  • Running can help you lose weight, which can lead to many health benefits including reducing the chance of diabetes, and reducing stress on the joints of the body. 
  • Running can strengthen the immune system, and help prevent illness.

 

Given the benefits running has on the body, and the little time that is required each week (about 50 minutes), there is little doubt that running should be incorporated into a daily routine to help enhance health and well being. A ten-minute run, five times a week can do wonders for the body. 

 

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