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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 20, 2018

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

        If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

        1. Breathe

        The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

        • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
        • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
        • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

        Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

        2. Loosen up

        After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

        Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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        3. Chew slowly

        Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

        Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

        Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

        4. Let go

        Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

        The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

        It’s not. Promise.

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        Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

        Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

        21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

        5. Enjoy the journey

        Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

        Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

        6. Look at the big picture

        The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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        Will this matter to me…

        • Next week?
        • Next month?
        • Next year?
        • In 10 years?

        Hint: No, it won’t.

        I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

        Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

        7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

        You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

        Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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        8. Practice patience every day

        Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

        • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
        • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
        • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

        Final thoughts

        Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

        Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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