We can’t all be those people with “26.2” stickers on the back of their cars, but as it turns out we may be able to enjoy similar benefits when it comes to heart health. Results of a new study conducted by researchers at Iowa State University reveal that even a short run (5 to 10 minutes) is good for the ol’ ticker.
Using information from more than 55,000 U.S. adults (only one-quarter of whom stated they were runners) researchers divided the study participants in five different groups based on factors such as how often they ran, how far, and their average speed. To their surprise, they saw similar benefits across the board in terms of reduced risk of death from heart disease—meaning the folks who ran fewer than 10 minutes a day had the same benefits as those who ran about 30–35 minutes daily (roughly five days a week).
Even after researchers took into account outside factors such as age, existing health conditions, and diet and lifestyle habits, the results of the study still showed shorter runs were just as beneficial as longer runs when it came to overall heart health, and that running may be a better exercise option for those with busy schedules because it produces a greater benefit in less time—more bang for your buck, so to speak.
“Because time is one of the strongest barriers to participate in physical activity, this study may motivate more people to start running and continue to run as an attainable health goal,” said study author Duck-chul Lee of the Iowa State Kinesiology Department.
Something to think about the next time you complain about not having time to work out!