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

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

Published: March, 2020

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.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »