Five-minute runs 'may add years to your life'
Running for just five to 10 minutes a few times a week could add three years to your life, researchers have found.
A study over 15 years of 55,000 people aged between 18 and 100 found that joggers overall were 30pc less likely to die during the period than couch potatoes. They were 45pc less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke.
But those who only took a gentle trot three times a week cut their chance of death from a heart attack or stroke by 61pc, slightly more than those who ran twice a week.
The findings, in the 'Journal of the American College of Cardiology', show that even a small amount of exercise is beneficial. The biggest reduction in mortality was seen in the group doing a little exercise compared with those who did none. When researchers looked at regularity of exercise, they found that joggers who went out three times a week cut the chance of death from a heart attack or stroke by 61pc compared with non-runners.
Considered by distance, they found that those who jogged up to six miles a week cut the risk by almost 60 pc. They lived three more years.
However, the group that covered more than 20 miles a week was only 20pc less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than those who stayed on the sofa.
The Government recommends that everyone should do three hours of exercise a week.
But Dr Duck-chul Lee, of Iowa State University, the lead author of the study, said people who ran less than an hour a week had the same benefits as those on the track for more than three hours a week. (© Daily Telegraph, London)