How Much Do You Need to Run Daily to Extend Your Life? Not Much.

We make thousands of choices per day. If you chose to make a few of those decisions a little healthier, your well-being and your beauty, win big time. So we are obesessed with studies like this one, which proves that finding just a few minutes to exercise can make a major impact on your life span.

Heed this: If you run for only five minutes per day you can siginificantly reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to non-runners—that’s the main cause of heart attack and stroke.

Five minutes! In the amount of time it takes to like photos on Instragram or flip through new releases on NetFlix (and then HBO GO, and then Amazon), you could be running around the block, or jogging in place, and basically prolonging your life.

One of the main factors why we don’t workout is because we need to sqeeze it into our already packed routines. Raise your hand if you’ve skipped the gym because you simply ran out of time for the 30 minutes to an hour you allotted for your workout (my hand is raised over here!). Now, we know that simply running around the block for five to 10 minutes will help you maintain your health.

“Since time is one of the strongest barriers to participate in physical activity, the study may motivate more people to start running and continue to run as an attainable health goal for mortality benefits,” says lead researcher Duck-chul Lee of Iowa State, who conducted the research. “Running may be a better exercise option than more moderate intensity exercises for healthy but sedentary people since it produces similar, if not greater, mortality benefits in five to 10 minutes compared to the 15 to 20 minutes per day of moderate intensity activity that many find too time consuming.”

Compared with non-runners, the runners in the large study of 55,137 adults on average lived three years longer compared to non-runners.

What’s more, the benefits were the same no matter how long, far, frequently or fast participants reported running: Those who ran less than an hour per week have the same mortality benefits compared to runners who ran more than three hours per week.

So tomorrow morning,  when you sleep through your alarm again and mentally rule out exercising, pull those sneakers on anyway. Five minutes is all you need.

READ MORE: Measure Your Fitness Levels

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