Go on a slow jog for just five minutes a day and you may gain a few extra years of life. This is all according to an American study, which focuses on the impact of jogging on life span.

According to the research, even a short stint may improve your chances of avoiding cardio and vascular diseases, which may lead to premature death.

"From a more traditional health perspective, five minutes sounds brave. But if it is energetic, intensive and the running steps are swift, why-ever not?" ponders medical doctor Tommi Vasankari from the UKK institute, as he considers the health benefits of quick spurts of exercise.

The researchers selected around 55,000 clients from health centers and sifted through information collected over a period of 15 years. Of the sample, approximately one fourth of individuals claimed to have running as a hobby.

From studying the information of those who passed away during the time period, it was evident that runners had a 45 per cent lesser risk of dying from heart disease. Running increased the average life span by three years.

Then, the researchers faced a surprise: the amount run by the individuals had no impact on life span.

The study was presented recently in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology – publication. The findings were then published in The New York Times newspaper.

According to Vasankari, the findings should be treated with caution, because the individuals themselves were the sources of the information used in the study.

"It is not objectively measured data. It makes it difficult to discern whether an individual has run on average five or seven minutes."

Quick jogs, however, do not fall much short of health recommendations, Vasankari continues. According to American recommendations, heavy exercise should be practiced for an hour and fifteen minutes each week.


Esa Juntunen – HS
Suvi Joensuu – HT

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