How Long Should You Run For? The Health Benefits Come Faster Than You Think

You have seen dedicated runners, discussing their latest epic 10K, their passion for pedometer apps, and their resilient quads, and you’ve heard them expound on how amazing regular cardio, especially running, is for your body. But before your FOMO reels you into setting your alarm for 6 a.m. to hit the park loops — just how much do you really have to run for the health benefits? A recent review of studies since 2000 examining the correlation between running and general health has found that it is not as much as you might think. The surprising findings by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings show that running only 51 minutes (less than an hour!!), or six miles per week, allows people to receive the full health benefits including reduction in Cardiovascular Disease, early death by any cause, and chronic disease. That means you can significantly improve your health by going on a modest jog one or two times per week! Holy sweatband, Batman!

How hard do you have to push yourself for those measly six miles? Do you have to don trash bags and be dripping with sweat after a super strenuous run to receive the benefits? Nope! A light to moderate jog is optimal for receiving the full mortality reduction. Of course there are many other good reasons to run, including alleviating stress, bopping to your playlist, and checking out all the cute dogs at the park. But if constantly running on a treadmill is making you feel like a hamster on a wheel, there is no pressure to lace up everyday. The only question is, what should you do with all the amazing free time you have now that you’re off the hook for running? We have compiled a list of enjoyable and productive activities to fill the time!

You now have more time for:

Cultivating a Bonsai Tree

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Now that your gym membership is cancelled, you finally have the time to take on this extremely challenging Japanese art form. Cultivating and shaping mature potted trees requires specialized care, and you can now spend all that extra time checking soil moisture, mastering defoliation, and creating deadwood with the jin and shari techniques. So hang up those running shoes and get out those tiny scissors, because there ain't no party like a bonsai party because a bonsai party is temperature regulated!

Riding Roller Coasters

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Need something else to give you that jolt of endorphins and adrenaline now that only minimal cardio is required? Become a roller coaster enthusiast! Head over to your nearest theme park and strap in. The rides will give you that crazy rush while jostling you around like a sack of dirty laundry. You can scream out your anxiety at speeds of over 70 mph!

Eggshell Carving

The delicate and meticulous work that goes into eggshell carving is great for a person with lots on time on their hands. Carefully blow out the contents of your egg, and set to work carving the pattern of your dreams. But keep in mind — one wrong move and the egg will crack, ruining weeks or even months hard work. Woohoo!

Stalking Drake

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When deciding how to use all these newfound hours, perhaps taking a little trip out West is in order! And what better way to use that vacation, then to let the man of your dreams (man of everyone’s dreams?) know you love him! Drake — the multi-talented Canadian entertainer is perfect. He’s 29. He’s from Toronto. He appreciates a good knit sweater. He might be, probably is, dating Serena Williams, and supposedly lives in Southern California. But that doesn’t matter. DATE THEM BOTH. GO!

DIY Decoupage

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Decoupage is the craft of decorating objects with paper cut outs. You have a lot of objects to spruce up, right? The amount of time needed for all the steps involved in this project wont be a problem for you. One little decoupage can take hours, from planning your design, following through, and then varnishing it. Some decoupage artists use as many as 30 to 40 coats of sealant, letting each one dry before applying the next. So hunker down and put a bird on it!

Finishing Your Dissertation

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It only took eight years, but now you finally have time to polish that bad boy up, defend it, and join the working world with the rest of us drones!

Hmmmmm, on second thought, maybe just go out for a quick run instead.

Images: pixabay, Etsy, giphy