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Run 5 Minutes a Day Challenge – and Some Music to Get You Going!


Two weeks ago new research was published in the Journal of the American college of Cardiology showing that — compared to those who didn’t run —  runners were 30% less likely to die of any cause during the course of the study.  This research was gathered from examining the exercise habits of 55,000 adults in the Dallas area over the length of six to 22 years, so it was a sizable longitudinal study.

Perhaps even more interesting was the additional finding that study participants who ran for only 30 to 51 minutes per week (just 5-10 minutes per day) lived an average of three years longer than people who didn’t run at all!

You don't have to go fast, you just have to go
Hate running or don’t have time?

You can clock 30 to 51 minutes per week — and reap all the health and longevity benefits — by just running five to ten minutes per day.

In the past I usually wouldn’t go out for a run unless I had 30 free minutes as I had felt that it wouldn’t be worth it — so this is a game-changer for my attitude on running. You can literally get your run over and done with in the time it takes to get dressed and put on your sneakers.

And, you don’t need to run fast either!  A leisurely pace of ten minutes a mile or slower will be just fine in order to help you reap the benefits.

You can also run intervals where you Run-Walk-Run, by running five minutes, walking for one minute and then running for another five minutes as new mom and self-proclaimed “terrible runner” Eevin Hartsough does.

If you’re physically not able to run at all, there is still plenty of previous research suggesting that taking a brisk 15-minute daily walk was associated with a three-year life extending benefit. And you can also take comfort in the fact that walking has 31 proven health and fitness benefits.

Let’s start this daily running (or run-walk-running) now, before the summer is over, so that we can all get a habit in place to run at least 5 minutes a day 5-6 days per week. That is my end-of-summer challenge for all of us.

Need some extra incentive? If EVERYONE in the U.S. started a running habit, we’d lose two billion pounds and 200 million inches from our waistlines.

Need a little more push to get you going? Here are 17 proven motivations to get you running.

One tip that works to get me running is to create a music playlist that pushes and motivates you.  (I put some of my favorite songs on the playlist and I only let myself listen to those songs when I’m actually out running — how’s that for incentive?)

As Hartsough points out on her blog “music you like for exercise may be completely different from the music you like during the rest of your life.” You may find (like me) that you enjoy pop hits and/or extended electronic remixes a lot more while you are running, or maybe it’s metal songs that inspire you. Try a few new tunes and find out. The plus side, is that you only need to listen to two to three songs, and you’ll be done with your run!

Here are a few songs to help to get you out there and running (they worked for me!):

1. Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” (Reich & Bleich Remix)

2. Nico & Vinz “Am I Wrong”

3. Martin Garrix’s “Animals”

4. Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Out” (Benny Benassi Remix)

5. Awolnation “Sail” (Riot Remix)

6. Capital Cities “Safe and Sound”

Readers - Do you run? If so, how many minutes or miles do you typically run per week? If not, will this new information get you to start running? Will you join me on this Run 5 Minutes a Day Challenge? I’m starting today! Leave a comment below and let me know if you’re with me.

Jess Barron is Editor-in-Chief of LIVESTRONG.COM. Read some of her other health and fitness articles here. A longtime foodie and fan of farmers markets, Jess particularly loves heirloom tomatoes, fresh figs with burrata cheese, and anything with pumpkin or peanut butter in it! Her love for food fuels her desire to exercise daily. In the summer of 2012, Jess lost 20 pounds in a test group for a new fitness program. Some of her favorite workout routines include walking, running, yoga, P90X, INSANITY and mixed martial arts. Jess's writing can also be found at She has appeared on MSNBC's The Most, ABC News Now and XM satellite radio , and her writing has appeared on and Yahoo.

Follow Jess on Twitter @jessdandy. Also, you can add her on Google+ and follow her on Pinterest.

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