Running for Improved Life ExpectancyPosted: June 22, 2017 in Lifestyle, Obesity Medicine by Craig Primack MD FACP
Forget running out of time—it is time to go running to gain time. Research published out of the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas found that running for just one hour improved your life expectancy by 7 hours. This pretty much puts an end to the idea that you don’t have time for exercise. If you want to gain time and to live longer, than exercise—more precisely running—is exactly what you have time to do.
This new study reports that running may be the most single effective exercise to increase life expectancy. People who run regularly, meaning people who go running at least several times per week if not every day, were found to live an average of three years longer than those who did not run. This was found to be consistent across health issues and lifestyle concerns.
What is interesting is that the quality of running didn’t seem to matter too much for the health outcomes to be found. Running slowly or running without perfect form did not detract from the life expectancy benefits in any way whatsoever. So, if you are looking for ways to improve your health and life expectancy, then it may be time to lace up those sneakers and hit the pavement.
Running is demanding both physically and mentally. Too many people make the mistake of trying to jump into running to quickly, without the right preparation, mentality, or support.
Doing this might work for some people, but for many this will leave you with the feeling that running isn’t something you are capable of doing—and that isn’t true. You just need to make sure that you are running at a pace that is recommended for you, that you are prepared, and that you are running in a way that puts your health needs first. Check with your weight loss doctor to ensure that running is something that is recommended for your health, and then consider the best ways that you can get started by setting yourself up for success.
Here are a few tips that you can use to get started:
- Running shoes are not a luxury, they are necessary. You wouldn’t go skiing without skis. You wouldn’t go roller blading without roller blades. Get fitted for a pair of running shoes before you make your first attempt on the pavement.
- Check out a local running store for clinics on running form. Many local sneakers stores have running consultants who can help you find the right shoes and help you gain better form to make your run easier.
- Wear moisture wicking clothes that aren’t too tight. You want to make sure that you are comfortable and able to put your body in motion without fighting your clothes the entire way.
- Bring water with you and plan on taking a lot of water breaks. Running is tough on the body, so be ready to stay hydrated.
- Come up with a plan before you head out the door. Use websites like mapmyrun.com to come up with a route, and then either bring a partner or tell someone where you are going so that you aren’t out there entirely on your own.
Don’t expect to go from zero to marathon overnight. The best thing you can do is to ease into it. Try running for a few minutes at a time, covering short distances, and walking in between. Only push yourself as far as your body is comfortable, keeping in mind that making small improvements and getting out there regularly are the best methods for long-term success.