One Foot in Front of the Other

Health Hack: One Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life


The New York Times just published a great story by Gretchen Reynolds about how even a short, slow run could add seven hours to your life, which you should read now. The story highlights a follow-up to a study that was previously conducted three years ago. That study was carried out at the Cooper Institute in Dallas and concluded that “as little as five minutes of running per day was associated with longer lifespans.” That’s a pretty incredible conclusion. The Institute had thousands of inquiries from people all over the globe, which led to researchers re-examining all of the data from the previous study, as well as data from recent studies, exploring the links between exercise and mortality.

The results of reanalyzing the data concluded that “running, whatever someone’s pace or mileage, dropped a person’s risk of premature death by almost forty percent, a benefit that held true even when the researchers controlled for smoking, drinking and a history of health problems such as hypertension or obesity.” While running won’t make you immortal, a 40 percent reduction in risk of premature death is huge. The study also concluded that other kinds of exercise like walking and cycling also dropped the risk of premature death, but only by about 12 percent. In other words, if you aren’t running, you should be.

Improve Your Running with This Workout

And Extend Your Life in the Process
This workout originally appeared in our story titled 3 Ways to Become a Stronger, Faster Runner — Today.

Over the course of 90 minutes, start with first 20 minutes at a comfortable pace, then pick the pace up as follows:

Set 1: 5 minutes at 10 seconds faster per mile than steady pace
(easy running for 30 seconds).
Set 2: 4 minutes at 15 seconds faster per mile than steady pace
(easy running for 30 seconds).
Set 3: 3 minutes at 20 seconds faster per mile than steady pace
(easy running for 30 seconds).
Set 4: 2 minutes at 30 seconds faster per mile than steady pace
(easy running for 30 seconds).
Set 5: 1 minutes at 60 seconds faster per mile than steady pace
(easy running for 30 seconds).

Finish out the 90 minutes back at the steady place you started at before workout.

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