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8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

We all know that exercise is good for us, but the idea of devoting a large chunk of our already scarce time to hitting the gym or pounding the pavement is enough to make even the best of us whimper on some days. There is hope, however. New research has shown that even running five minutes per day can have a dramatic positive impact on a person’s health and well-being. Post this list in your home and read it next time you think you can’t spare five minutes.

1. Reduced chance of developing cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and devoting as little as five minutes per day to moderate aerobic exercise can cut your risk of developing it almost in half. A study between leisure-time running and cardiovascular mortality risks, published by the American College of Cardiology examined more than 55,000 adults, looking at exercise habits over 15 years, and found that people who were even slightly active had much stronger hearts and lungs.

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2. Reduced risk of all-cause mortality

The same study found that a person’s risk of dying from any cause was cut by almost one-third if he exercised less than 51 minutes per week compared to people who didn’t exercise at all. That time can be broken up however you like. Five to 10 minutes per day, 15 minutes on Tuesday and 35 on the weekend, even one weekly not-quite-an-hour long session will give you the same reduced risk of death.

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    3. Live three years longer

    Not only can exercise reduce your risk of dying, it can actually add years to your life. From the sample of 55,000 participating in the study mentioned above, those who exercised regularly lived an average of three years longer. That works out to more than 1.5 million extra minutes of life in exchange for five minutes of exercise a day. You would have to live for more than 800 years for that not to be worth it.

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    4. Improved blood pressure

    Given the improved cardiovascular fitness that goes along with exercise, it should be no surprise that working out regularly will improve your blood pressure. Researchers published a study on aerobic interval training reducing blood pressure and improving myocardial function in hypertensive patients was published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology. This study showed that the more exercise your heart gets, the better it is at regulating blood pressure. Healthy blood pressure reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. Exercise really is a no-brainer.

    5. Reduced blood sugar sensitivity

    When your body is overly sensitive to dips and spikes in blood sugar, you are at increased risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes kills more than 71,000 people each year in the U.S. alone. Research from the Kowsar Medical Institute suggests that running regularly can help reduce blood sugar sensitivity even in people who already have diabetes. Most of us enjoy regular exercise more than regular insulin injections, so lace up those cross trainers.

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      6. Better mood

      Not only is running great for your body, it is also great for your outlook on life. We’ve all heard of the alleged “runner’s high” that people feel when they come home from a great jog, and science has actually found support for the idea. Running has been shown to improve mood immediately afterwards. Imagine if you could spend five minutes each morning increasing the chances that you would be in a great mood all day.

      7. Improved sleep

      A night spent tossing and turning can spoil even the best day. Being tired and grumpy is a sure fire way to make a person unpleasant to be around, even when they’re on vacation. Fortunately, it turns out that regular exercise can do more to improve sleep than even the strongest sleeping pill, and with no side effects. A 2012 study on daily morning running, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that daily morning runs led to significantly better sleep in a group of healthy teenagers.

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        8. Enhanced mental function

        Not only will exercise help you sleep better, it will actually make you more effective when you’re awake. Running to catch up: rapid generation of evidence for interventions in learning disability services, a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, suggests that exercise improves mental function so much that it can actually reduce the deficits caused by learning disabilities. Some schools are beginning to adopt early morning exercise programs because of the improvements they have seen in a child’s ability to learn following physical activity.

        Featured photo credit: Landscape Mountains Sky Clouds Sunrise Man/tpsdave via pixabay.com

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        Last Updated on September 18, 2020

        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

        Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

        Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

        1. Exercise Daily

        It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

        If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

        Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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        If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

        2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

        Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

        One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

        This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

        3. Acknowledge Your Limits

        Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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        Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

        Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

        4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

        Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

        The basic nutritional advice includes:

        • Eat unprocessed foods
        • Eat more veggies
        • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
        • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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        Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

          5. Watch Out for Travel

          Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

          This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

          If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

          6. Start Slow

          Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

          If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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          7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

          Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

          My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

          If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

          I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

          Final Thoughts

          Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

          Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

          More Tips on Getting in Shape

          Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

          Reference

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