If you like to run but don�t looove to run, here�s some news that�s sure to put a bounce in your step. A recent review of studies found that to score the major health perks of running, you don�t have to pound the pavement for long: Jogging just five or six miles a week is enough.
The researchers report that people who logged that many miles over the course of one or two runs (and less than 51 cumulative minutes) per week had a lower risk of certain cancers, stroke, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol compared to people who jogged less or not at all.
It gets even better: When the reviewers looked at the effect of running on cardiovascular mortality and death from any cause, they found that the low-mileage group had the same reduction in risk as people who laced up more often and covered more ground every week.
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�Maximal health benefits of running appear to occur at quite low doses, well below those suggested by the US physical activity guidelines,� the researchers write in the study, which was published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. (The government recommends 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.)
But of course, if you�re running to lose weight, the same logic still applies: More steps means more calories burned. You may want to stick to your usual schedule and route. But for anyone who�s been pushing herself on long-distance jaunts in pursuit of optimal health, the new findings may offer some sweet relief.
So�what is a good goal to shoot for, according to science?
Carl J. Lavie, MD, the review�s lead author and the medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, offered this�advice to�the New York Times: �Running for 20 to 30 minutes, or about a mile-and-a-half to three miles, twice per week would appear to be perfect.�
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