Is Running The Best Type Of Exercise?

The question is often asked as to what is the best exercise for a person? The answers vary from person to person, depending on who you speak to. One thing is certain – running factors into this equation.

Taken from the Journal of Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, we find that runners live on average three years longer than non runners. Even if you drink, smoke and are overweight, if you run you will reduce the risk of dying early by up to 40{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949}. An hour of running will therefore increase your life expectancy by seven hours.

While running may not be the fountain of youth, so to speak, it has been shown to be more effective than walking, cycling or swimming. Even 5 – 10 minutes a day running will reduce the risk of heart disease, and early deaths in general. This is a whole lot less than the government recommendations which are about 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. Most people – it was found – ignore this as they feel that it is too much.

Another point of view- as far as the best exercise goes – is that the exercise you actually do, is the best one! If you hate an exercise, and never do it, it makes no different whether it is good or bad. Running, however, is thought to be the best for a number of reasons.

Running reduces your risk of dying early by between 25{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} and 40{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949}. Photograph: Adam Hester/Getty Images/Blend Images

You can’t cheat at running! You have to do it, you can’t rely on machinery to help you. It is cheap, and it is easy. Simply put on a decent pair of running shoes and head out of the door.

Even jogging counts as ‘moderate exercise’ so even if you are just starting and can’t go much faster, that’s okay, it all counts.

According to Angelique Brellenthin of Iowa State University, it would take 105 minutes of walking to achieve the same benefits as a 25 minute run. Non runners are also twice as likely to die from strokes and sudden heart attacks.

One argument that is often brought up is that people who suffer from knee pain cannot run. It is possible to reduce knee pain by running on soft surfaces, avoiding hills, doing exercises to strengthen the knee muscles, and wearing good quality running shoes. There is no evidence, says Brellenthin, that running increases the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee.

As with any exercise, running should be built up slowly so as not to injure yourself. Do not be tempted to try a marathon before you are ready! Brellenthin goes on to say that you only need 30 – 60 minutes a week to start to see the results, and for it to be beneficial for your body.

Source: The Guardian

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