Looking to get a jump start on New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you should start running now.

Looking to get a jump start on New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you should start running now.

It might feel daunting to get started running, but it doesn’t take much to help your health.

According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, running can have a substantial impact in reducing the risk of early mortality by 27%, the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30% and the risk of cancer by 23%.

In an analysis of 232,149 people, the study found any amount of running can reduce the risk of early death.

“This research highlights how running specifically has benefits that are separate from other types of physical activity,” states Dr. Benjamin Abeyta, a sports medicine physician at Aurora Health Care in Wauwatosa, Wis.

We do know physical activity has seemingly endless benefits. It can help improve cognition, boost your mood, increase confidence levels and improve sleep, Dr. Abeyta says.

The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Running is typically a vigorous activity and meets this recommendation.

“Running is one of the best investments of time you can make for your life,” Dr. Abeyta says. “It’s never too late to start a new healthy habit.”

Dr. Abeyta offers tips for those looking to start a running routine:

  • Discuss with your primary care physician or a sports medicine physician before starting a new physical activity.
  • You should start with 1-2 runs per week at 10 minutes each. To gauge your exertion levels, you should be able to hold a conversation while running. Ideally, you will want to increase the length of your runs up to 30 minutes.
  • After achieving a 30-minute run, you can add an additional day of running or other physical activity into your weekly routine.
  • Look into strength training to avoid injuries.
  • Avoid common running mistakes such as running too fast or too far too soon.
  • Run with a buddy. Look for local running groups in your area to find inspiration.

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About the Author

Liz Fitzgerald
Liz Fitzgerald

Liz Schoenung, health enews contributor, is an integrated marketing manager at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communication from Marquette University.  Outside of work, Liz has a goal of visiting all U.S. national parks.