Running is one of those sports that people absolutely love and absolutely loathe. It either gets you or it doesn't. There aren't many people who are just iffy on the experience. That said, even if you're one of those people who can't stand running, you might find yourself doing it once you hear the results of a recent study.
The research was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology by a team from the University of Leicester and the University of Exeter. The scientists conducted an analysis on data regarding the activity levels of over 2,500, including their bone health. The women wore activity trackers that monitored their activity levels, while their bone health was determined through a heel bone ultrasound.
What the study found was that even when women did only brief bursts of weight bearing activity at a high intensity level – for example, a medium-paced run – showed better bone health results than those who were sedentary. Even if those bursts of activity were only an average of 60 to 120 seconds long each day, they still had 4 percent better bone health than the women whose intense exercise was less than one minute long.
The researchers did find that the women who actually kept up the running for a longer period of time did better on their bone health. For example, if they ran for 2 minutes per day on average, their bone health was 6 percent better. That said, it is certainly an interesting finding as it clearly takes only a minute or two of intense exercise to begin making a difference.
So even if you hate running, if you do it for a minute or two, you can already feel confident that you're giving your body a health advantage. If you can keep it up for a few minutes longer, all the better.
Moreover, since running is great cardio and is good for weight management, while you're already out there, you may as well do as much of it as you can stand. If you're walking for your exercise and you throw a few bursts of running into the mix on most days, you may actually be doing something much better for your health than you'd previously realized.
When you consider the importance of bone health and avoiding the risks of osteoporosis, it may be worthwhile to give yourself that minute or two of added advantage in your regular exercise routine. In fact, consider just standing up and running on the spot for a minute during a television show's commercial break. It's good for you to get up and move around, anyway, so why not do something for your bone health and waistline, too?