On a recent trip south, I took to the streets for a casual jog. Not only was it great to get some fresh air, but research shows that even light jogging is really good for you. And you don’t have to go fast or long to reap myriad health benefits!
In a review of 14 studies involving more than 230,000 people, whose health had been tracked for between 5.5 and 35 years, British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that benefits associated with any amount of running included a 27% lower risk of death from all causes for both men and women, compared with people who don’t run at all. Further, running was associated with a 30% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and 23% lower risk of death from cancer. The authors determined that small “doses” of running, once weekly or less, lasting less than 50 minutes each time at a moderate to slow pace (6 mi per hour), were still associated with many health benefits.
“But I’ve never run before”
It’s never too late to start! Marathoner (26 times!) Gail Kislevitz, Ridgewood resident and author of Running Past 50, loves to talk about the famous Toshika D’Elia, world record holder at almost every distance and the first woman in the world to run a sub-3:00 hour marathon at the age of 50. She started running when she was 40!
How do I make it less BORING?
Grab (a friend) and GO: Exercising with a friend is often more motivating - and enjoyable - than going it alone.
Set a goal to run a race: The North Jersey Masters Running Club offers an 8 week Couch to 5K program that helps people with no prior running experience run a 5K.
Mix it up: Start by jogging for one minute followed by three minutes of walking and repeat for 20 minutes. Each week or two, increase the jogging time while decreasing walking time. Before you know it, you’ll be in a full- on jog. Without stopping.
Bottom Line: With the weather breaking 50 degrees these days, now is the time to lace up your kicks and get out there. I’ll see you on the streets!