Fitness & Nutrition

5 Minutes a Day is All Your Heart May Need

By on 08/10/2017

Running for just a few minutes a day may be all it takes to live a longer, heart-healthier life.

The 2015-2020 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity a week. But what if you could improve your heart health and life expectancy in just five to 10 minutes a day?

According to a large-scale study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, you may be able to do just that. The 2014 study looked at data from over 55,000 adults over a 15-year period to determine the impact of running on life expectancy. Here’s what researchers found:

  • Runners had a 30 percent lower risk of death from all causes and a 45 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular causes than non-runners.
  • Runners lived, on average, three years longer than non-runners.

Intensity Is the Key

The conclusion from the study is that running, even for just five to 10 minutes a day at slow speeds (under 6 mph), is associated with reduced risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease. Timothy Church, MD, PhD, one of the study’s co-authors, noted however that there’s nothing “magical about running per se” and said it’s likely that exercise intensity is the key to improving longevity.

But even if you don’t necessarily need to run to reap the effects of the study’s findings, running may be one of the easiest ways to give your heart a quick workout. If you aren’t a runner now, remember that fast walking is a precursor to jogging and running and offers heart benefits as well. Non-runners can start with fast-paced walking, interspersed with intervals of light jogging. This will still help strengthen your heart and elevate your heart rate, which will lead to health benefits overall.

Copyright 2017 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Date Last Reviewed: July 17, 2017

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

Learn more about Baldwin Publishing Inc. editorial policy, privacy policy and sponsorship policy.

No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.



Subscribe to Perspectives

About This Blog
Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness. The Einstein Healthcare Network "Terms of Use" apply to all content on this blog.