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Practical Tips for Living Well with Fibro

Can You Jog for 5 Minutes a Day?

Can You Jog for 5 Minutes a Day?

If you have fibromyalgia, you have been told that exercise helps.  It helps manage the pain.  But we also know that exercise in general helps everyone, not just in combating pain.  Before managing pain became important I’m reasonably sure you knew exercise would help your heart health.  Well, it still does.  The good news is, it doesn’t have to take nearly as much as you thought.

In fact, it appears that you can positively affect your health with as little as 5 minute of intensive exercise.

Easy jogAs a group, runners gained about three extra years of life compared with those adults who never ran.

Remarkably, these benefits were about the same no matter how much or little people ran. Those who hit the paths for 150 minutes or more a week, or who were particularly speedy, clipping off six-minute miles or better, lived longer than those who didn’t run. But they didn’t live significantly longer those who ran the least, including people running as little as five or 10 minutes a day at a leisurely pace of 10 minutes a mile or slower.

“We think this is really encouraging news,” said Timothy Church, a professor at the Pennington Institute who holds the John S. McIlHenny Endowed Chair in Health Wisdom and co-authored the study. “We’re not talking about training for a marathon,” he said, or even for a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race. “Most people can fit in five minutes a day of running,” he said, “no matter how busy they are, and the benefits in terms of mortality are remarkable.”

But “there’s not necessarily something magical about running, per se,” Dr. Church said. Instead, it’s likely that exercise intensity is the key to improving longevity, he said, adding, “Running just happens to be the most convenient way for most people to exercise intensely.”

Anyone who has never run in the past or has health issues should, of course, consult a doctor before starting a running program, Dr. Church said. And if, after trying for a solid five minutes, you’re just not enjoying running, switch activities, he added. Jump rope. Vigorously pedal a stationary bike. Or choose any other strenuous activity. Five minutes of taxing effort might add years to your life.

If you can start off with gentler stretching, some balancing exercises and just five minutes of something strenuous, I’m sure you will feel a big difference.

Share your experience and insights in the comments below and help others to Live well with Fibro.

To read the full article on how just 5 minutes of running, click here to visit The New York Times.

Image Source:  Simon Carr

Featured Image Source: Michael Coghlan

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