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Just 5 minutes of running a day could add years to your life, study says

POSTED: August 10, 2014 5:00 p.m.
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A new study found that running just five minutes a day decreased their mortality rate by a whopping 30 percent.

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Good news for those that find it almost impossible to fit in exercise: a new study found that running just five minutes a day decreased their mortality rate by a whopping 30 percent.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, followed 55,137 adults for 15 years. About 24 percent of the participants were running. Compared with the nonrunners, they had a 30 percent lower mortality risk and 45 percent lower cardiovascular mortality risk.

Researchers also studied the intensity and duration of the runners.

“Our study showed that only fairly small doses of running were needed to produce these profound benefits," study co-author Dr. Carl Lavie, medical director of preventive cardiology at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, told NBC News. “Even running less than six miles per week, running less than an hour per week at paces less than 10-minute miles were still producing very substantial reductions in cardiovascular mortality.”

People who run 30 to 60 minutes a week, or 5 to 10 minutes a day, can significantly lower their risk of death, the study said. For adults that struggle to fit in the suggested 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, this could be a life-changing news.

“This study encourages inactive people to participate in more physical activity including running,” Dr. D.C. Lee, lead researcher and assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University, told Yahoo.

The study only followed runners, but the exercise could also be translated to other activities like walking or riding a bike, Carl Lavie, a cardiologist and co-author of the study, told USA Today. But he says to keep in mind the lower intensity of those exercises requires you to walk or bike for twice as long as running.

"(The study gives) comforting information for people whose frequent excuse for not running is they don't have enough time," Lavie added.

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