The Amazing Body Benefit of Just One Minute of Running

If you're having a hard time motivating yourself to get your sneakers on and hit the treadmill, here's some awesome news. According to new research, running for just one minute a day is linked to improved bone health in women, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

A new study finds that just one minute of running improved bone health in women by 4 percent. Credit: Ridofranz/iStock/GettyImages

The study evaluated more than 2,500 women, and those who did brief bursts of high-intensity, weight-bearing activity (such as a medium-paced run for premenopausal women or a slow jog for postmenopausal women) for one to two minutes each day had 4 percent better bone health than those who did less than a minute. For those who could sustain running for more than two minutes a day, the results were even better: 6 percent better bone health as compared with that of the participants who didn't exercise.

Even just a couple of minutes of running has benefits for your body. (Though the researchers say they can't be sure whether the high-intensity physical activity led to better bone health or whether those with better bone health tend to do more high-intensity activity.) Whether physical activity must be done daily to reap the benefits or whether more minutes of exercise on one day — and allowing for rest days — is better for bone health warrants further research.

In the meantime, a simple way to incorporate a one-minute daily run is to vary the pace of your walking. "We would suggest adding a few running steps to the walk, a bit like you might if you were running to catch a bus," said lead author Dr. Victoria Stiles of the University of Exeter.

And if better bone health wasn't enough of a reason to quicken the pace, consider some other perks running can provide, such as lowered risk of memory loss, improved mood and even longer life.

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What Do YOU Think?

Does it surprise you that such a small amount of exercise can have health benefits? If you're a runner, do you have tips for helping running newbies get into a consistent routine? Tell us in the comments!

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