No need to run yourself into the ground

stick_figure_running_icon_1600_wht_3621If your idea of getting fit is running marathons then the latest research shows you don’t need to do that to improve your health.

Not even 10k or 7 k –just 7 minutes!

Less than an hour of exercise a week can reduce your risk of an early death through heart disease by 45% and extend your life expectancy by three years.

Experts at Iowa State University say that 5-10 minutes exercise a day is the most efficient way for busy people to stay healthy.

NHS guidance at present recommends vigorous exercise for 75 minutes a week but people doing much less were just as healthy in a survey of 55,000 people over a 15-year period in Dallas, Texas.

Not running at all was as bad for the heart as being obese but those who ran 6 miles or less were just as healthy as those running 20 miles a week in 6 runs.

Dr Duk-chul Lee, who conducted the survey, thinks deaths from heart disease could be reduced by 25% if people exercised more.

NHS guidance is 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of brisk walking or gardening. Brisk walking has been found to slightly lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes and 15 minutes a day of brisk walking can extend your life expectancy by three years.

Those of you who are dedicated runners be aware that some studies have found that very high levels of running can damage the heart.