Slow and Steady for Health
We at ONIE are super excited to host the Harvest Hustle 5K on Sunday, October 4, 2015. The event is a complete not compete race. And before the race there is an interactive and fun wellness expo. We plan to have 900 people who will walk and/or run the 5K with their family and friends, all enjoying this free healthy activity. A common question we have heard from past participants is: Do I have to run fast to benefit my health?
Good question. The easy answer is that any type of movement is better than nothing. But to be a bit more technical, consider an important study called the Copenhagen City Heart Study. The study looked at personal running speed related to health benefits. The people in this study ranged from age 20 to 93. With this age range, it does not make sense to use a given speed, such as minutes to run a mile. What is a slow run for an active person at age 20 may be fast for a less fit person at age 60. So the researchers did the only sensible thing: they let each person decide their speed.
Each runner decided what was slow for them. For young and fit runners, slow might be one mile in 12 minutes. For older runners, slow might be one mile in 15 to 20 minutes. The difference in time did not matter. All that mattered was that they got moving and raised their breathing rate.
Now here comes the interesting part. The study looked at the benefits of jogging on living longer. Those who jogged at a slow rate lived longer than those who did not exercise. Another interesting finding was that running faster did not increase the health benefit. The most benefit was seen from those who ran at a slow to average speed—whatever that might be for you.
So take advice from the classic childhood story—the tortoise and the hare. Though the hare had fast bursts of speed, the steady tortoise won the race. And it is the same with people: slow and steady wins the race for health. Whether you run or walk at the Harvest Hustle on October 4th, a good effort counts. You can start preparing today with our easy planning guides.
Dr. Dave Kerby