Your right foot lifts from the ground and your left one propels you upwards before it makes its own ascension, right foot making contact with the earth again. For a spilt second you are floating in thin air. You love every moment of it. You feel invisible. Your strides never stop. You are a runner.

Your legs feel like cement and you attempt to get that right foot off the ground. Sometimes it feels like just a shuffle, other times you reach a steady jog. For a split second you ask yourself why you didn’t just stay on the couch. You hate every moment of it. You feel pain. Your strides never stop. You are a runner.

Whether you are a seasoned runner or hate running entirely, running for less than ten minutes per day could save your life.

We all know that the health benefits of running are plentiful. Biologically, you are burning calories and building muscles. Mentally, you are triggering endorphins that reduce stress and anxiety. Psychologically, you are increasing self-esteem and body image.

However, a new study has found that running for a few minutes each day could drastically improve cardiovascular health and may even prolong your life.

Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, you could reduce your risk of death up to 30% by running for just 7 minutes each day.

Researchers examined over 55,000 participants ages 18-100 throughout 15 years in order to uncover just how beneficial running is for heart health. Over the course of the 15 years, 3,000 participants died, with 1,217 of these being related to cardiovascular disease.

The study found that the participants who were runners (under a quarter of the study’s population) lived an average of three years longer, had a 30% reduced risk of death in general, and a 45% reduced risk of death from heart disease or stroke than the non-runner population.

Researchers found that the speed of the run did not play a role in this conclusion, but rather just 7 minutes a day or 51 minutes a week could substantially reduce the risk of death. Even when factors like age, sex, BMI, smoking or alcohol use where taken into account, the conclusion remained the same.

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