Monday, November 30, 2015

How Much Should You Run In A Week?

This is the little guy I run with mostly now
I often get asked by my patients if I'm still training or how much I still bike or run etc. I tell them that I'm definitely not training seriously like before. I still swim occasionally and bike (if cycling my son to school is included). And I usually just run back after working at Physio Solutions twice a week. (For those who want to know- I take a bus there).

So I'm happy to read that a recently published review suggested that running a few miles a week can substantially improve your health. The authors specifically reviewed journals published in PubMed since 2000 that had a sample size of at least 500 runners and a 5-year follow up period.

The researchers found that you do not need to run a whole lot to get benefits. How much are we talking about here?

Based on the latest published evidence reviewed, the authors suggest that running 20 to 30 minutes or about one and a half to three miles (2.4 to 4.8 km) twice a week appears to be perfect.

Even with such low mileage, runners generally weighed less and and had a lower risk of obesity compared to people who did not exercise. The runners were also less likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, strokes, certain cancers and arthritis compared to non-runners, or those who ran less than five miles a week.

The authors also suggested that running a few additional miles will help if you need better weight control and it "allows one to eat more calories".

Those who are looking to be faster and better runners will definitely need to run more although some evidence suggest that running strenuously for more than an hour every day could slightly increase your risk for heart problems, running related injuries and disabilities.

Reference

Lavie CJ, Lee DC et al (2015). Effects Of Running On Chronic Diseases And Cardiovascular And All-cause Mortality. Mayo Clin Proce. 90(11): 1541-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2015.08.001.

*Thanks to Rachel Wong for helping me get the article.

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