RUNNING: A LIFE AND TIME SAVER; GOOD NEWS!
My recent race 1st place proved to me that running fewer miles and working on flexibility, balance, and strength work could help me run faster. A recent online New York Times piece discusses medical research that running, as a ”vigorous” type of physical activity, compared to walking ("moderate" physical activity) is associated with a substantial reduction in all causes of death and has maximal health benefits at quite low doses. The Mayo Clinic Proceedings review published in November 2015 examined numerous studies on the benefits of running. It sought to analyze the relationship between running and major health consequences, especially cardiovascular disease and other causes of death, and make recommendations on how much running must be done to gain health benefits. The review is very long but has one TABLE (see above) that tells a GREAT STORY! Figure 6 says that “ a 5 minute run generates the same (health) “benefits as a 15-minute walk, and a 25-minute run is equivalent to a 105-minute walk”. WOW!
The study authors also point out that "despite the known benefits of high levels of" physical activity and exercise training, "some evidence suggests that there may be a point of diminishing returns" and that "high doses" of aerobic exercise training, like marathon running, may not be healthy. Have you heard non-exercisers voice similar concerns regarding the dangers of EXCESSIVE exercise as a reason for remaining inactive? The very first "highlight" of the article (see image below) puts that EXCUSE in the garbage. It tells us: "considerable evidence suggests that physical INACTIVITY may be the GREATEST THREAT to health in the 21st century."
To encourage those non-runners who are hanging back and thinking that to achieve the health benefits of this activity they must turn into full-time athletes, committing large chunks of time to sweating and grunting through a difficult routine, the study says less is good enough. EarnedRuns™ says that COMMITTING TO COMPETITION in races (personal and organized) gives running a HAPPIER PURPOSE than merely AVOIDING illness and death, and that TRAINING TO COMPETE helps build a more flexible and stronger body IN WHICH TO LIVE LONGER.
A PDF of the full research article can be viewed and downloaded free http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196%2815%2900621-7/pdf
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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