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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 July 10, 2020

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

        We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

        So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

        Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

        What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

        Boundaries are limits

        —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

        Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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        Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

        Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

        Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

        How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

        Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

        1. Self-Awareness Comes First

        Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

        You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

        To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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        You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

        • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
        • When do you feel disrespected?
        • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
        • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
        • When do you want to be alone?
        • How much space do you need?

        You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

        2. Clear Communication Is Essential

        Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

        Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

        3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

        Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

        That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

        Sample language:

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        • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
        • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
        • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
        • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
        • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
        • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
        • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

        Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

        4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

        Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

        Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

        Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

        We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

        It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

        It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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        Final Thoughts

        Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

        Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

        Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

        The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

        Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

        Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

        They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

        Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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