So according to this study, even a little bit of running can reduce your risk of early death. In other words, you do not have to run fast or run far to reap the health benefits of running. All you simply need to do is run. Whether you are a casual runner or a hardcore endurance runner like me, you will still reduce your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Anyone who is new to running knows that your first run is 1 mile or 2 miles. Of course you have to build up mileage. Nevertheless, that 1 mile or 2 miles reduces your risk of dying early from chronic diseases.
What The Study Showed
The researchers looked at relevant research, presentations, doctoral theses, and dissertations. Specifically, they looked at studies about the relationship between running and chronic disease. They found 14 studies involving 232,149 people whose health was tracked between 5 and 35 years. During the studies, 25,951 people died. When they pooled the study, the researchers found that any amount of running, even a little bit, was linked with a 27% reduced risk from all chronic disease for both male and female compared to when no one runs. Specifically, they found that running regardless of how much you do it was associated with 30% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and 23% reduced risk of cancer. So it is safe to say that running slower than 6 miles per hour, lasting less than 50 minutes, or once a week or less can be linked with higher longevity. Although this was an observational study, the researchers were optimistic about the results from the study and said that just running is better than not running at all.
Good News For Anyone Who Wants To Start
For anyone new to running, this is good news because starting to run and going at a short distance at a slower average pace will reduce your risk of chronic illness and add more years to your life. It does not matter if you run slow or cannot run longer yet or if you do not have a runner’s physique. The only thing that matters is your health and if you want to live up to 80 at most so you can spend time with your grandkids and even have the energy to play with them. Anyone who is new to running should read this study and read this blog post, so they do not have to be under pressure to go too fast and too soon. As a matter of fact, running too fast and too soon can lead to injury and if you get injured, you might most likely give up on running. Therefore, I advise anyone who is a beginner to start off slow and gradually build up mileage as you train. At least that was what I did when I first started running. I went from someone doing 1-mile runs to running multiple half-marathons. If I was able to do it, so can you.
Diet Is Still Important
But even if exercise reduces your risk of an early death, diet should not be ignored. A healthy diet is linked with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney problems, and other chronic diseases. A healthy, whole-foods vegan diet is the ideal diet for reducing these chronic illnesses and it will improve your running performance. As a runner, I have experienced faster recovery times and more energy. For example, I will do a long run and then still have energy to do chores. Even after a long swim or lifting heavy weights, I am still not tired yet and I can still do more activities afterwards. In addition, I have witnessed lower blood pressure and perfect blood glucose levels. When I donated blood to the San Diego Blood Bank, they said I have healthy hematocrit levels. In other words, I have a healthy balance of blood cells. My blood test results have shown no deficiencies. The only supplement I take is one multivitamin a day. Apparently Joe Rogan and my friends on the low-carb/paleo/keto diets takes more supplements than me. And speaking of those diets, I do not understand how they work because athletes, particularly runners and endurance athletes, need carbohydrates for energy so they can run faster and longer. A healthy, whole-foods vegan diet has more carbohydrates than the low-carb diets and standard American diet. Therefore, a vegan diet improves your health and your running performance and reduces your risk for chronic disease.