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Run for a longer life? Just a short jog might make a difference

March 1, 2020

To help stave off cardiovascular disease, you may not need to run very far, very fast—or even very frequently.

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Jogging and running rank among the most popular forms of exercise in this country. But how fast and how long do you need to run to reap the cardiovascular rewards of this activity? A recent study suggests that for both questions, the answer may be less than you think (see "The latest research on jogging and running").

"The main takeaway message is that running even just once a week seems to offer some cardiovascular benefits," says Dr. Adam Tenforde, director of the Running Medicine Program at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. It's heartening news for people who enjoy running but can't do it more frequently, either for logistical reasons or health issues such as knee arthritis, he adds. These findings might also inspire people who do brisk walking to add a few minutes of running to their exercise regimen.

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