One Run May Add 7 Hours to Your Life, Study Says

Getting fit for Summer

Running is a simple and efficient way to exercise: all you need is a pair of shoes. It’s been shown to lower a person’s risk for heart disease and cancer, possibly by regulating weight and blood pressure. Now a recent study, published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease last month, reports that people who run tend to live about three years longer than those who don’t.

The researchers, who have studied the benefits of running in the past, decided to look at available research and investigate whether other forms of exercise like walking and biking provide the same benefits, or if runners have a special advantage.

The study’s authors found that while other types of exercise like walking and cycling were linked to a longer lifespan, it wasn’t to the same degree as running. The researchers calculated that a one-hour run may translate to an additional seven hours added to a person’s life. The benefits capped out at about three years, and the researchers found that the improvements in life expectancy leveled out at about four hours of running per week. More running wasn’t found to be significantly worse for a person, but the researchers say there are no further apparent longevity benefits.

However, the researchers only found an associational relationship between running and longevity. Their data showed that people who run tend to live longer lives, but not that running specifically increases a person’s lifespan. Runners tend to have other healthy lifestyle behaviors like maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and only drinking low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol, the authors note. Still, the findings suggest running is an especially effective form of exercise.

The study also found that runners who also do other types of physical activity have the same lower risk of early death, though combining running with other exercise is “the best choice,” the researchers write. (Federal guidelines recommend both aerobic exercise, like running, and strength training for optimal health.) They also acknowledge that it’s not yet clear how much running is safe, or if a person can run too much.

“Running may have the most public health benefits, but is not the best exercise for everyone since orthopedic or other medical conditions can restrict its use by many individuals,” the authors concluded.

By Alexandra Sifferlin for Time Health

Why Running Is Such Perfect Cardio

Female athlete running on track, low section, focus on shadow

There was once a time, just a few decades ago, when few people ran to stay in shape. Today, running is almost synonymous with exercise. If your goal is to be fit and healthy, you’re either a runner or someone who’s planning to start running really soon (promise).

Running has become so popular, in part, because a mountain of evidence suggests it’s great for a long, disease-free life.

One 2014 study found that running is linked to a 45% drop in risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. “Runners on average lived three years longer compared to non-runners,” says study author D.C. Lee, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University. Those mortality benefits held fairly steady regardless of how fast, how long or how often a person ran.

Lee and his colleagues just published a follow-up report showing even more impressive benefits. Running for about two hours each week was linked to three extra years of life. He and his coauthors also found that running outperforms walking, cycling and some other forms of aerobic exercise when it comes to lengthening life.

Research has also linked running to lower rates of stroke, cancer and metabolic diseases like diabetes, as well as better bone strength. “Weight-bearing exercises like running promote greater bone mineral density,” says Arthur Weltman, a professor and chair of kinesiology at the University of Virginia. Especially as you age and your bones start to weaken, running can help keep the bones of your legs healthy.

Muscles also get stronger with running. “One of the tenets of training is that when you do damage to muscle tissue, it’s stronger after repair,” Weltman says. Your heart is a muscle. And while hard running can initially result in increased levels of proteins associated with heart damage, these levels quickly return to normal, and the heart bounces back stronger than before, he explains.

But in order for that strengthening to occur, you have to give your muscles time to recover. “Depending on your fitness and how hard you go, running can be vigorous, high-intensity exercise,” Weltman says. “If you’re running hard and pushing yourself every day, you have the potential to over-train and do some damage.”

Overtraining is most likely to cause joint-related issues: lower-body aches or strains that may sideline a runner for a few days or weeks. If you always seem to be injured, that’s a good indication you’re not giving yourself enough rest, Weltman says. Running is high-impact exercise, so it may cause pain or injury in people with obesity or those with joint problems—particularly if they don’t allow enough time for recovery between bouts.

But overtraining may lead to more than simple pain or sprains, some recent scientific literature suggests. Research from James O’Keefe, a cardiologist with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, found that doing excessive endurance exercise—especially during middle-age and beyond—could theoretically lead to unhealthy structural changes in the chambers of the heart. His research pegged “too much” somewhere beyond an hour per day of vigorous exercise. More isn’t always better when it comes to running and endurance training.

It’s also important to realize that what’s “vigorous” for one runner is not going to be vigorous for another. “There’s a lot of person-to-person variation that depends on fitness level,” Weltman explains. For older people or those who haven’t broken a sweat in a while, brisk walking might constitute a tough workout.

“I think the best way to exercise and avoid risk of injury revolves around perception of effort, rather than time or duration,” he says. “At least twice a week, you want to exercise at an intensity that you perceive as hard.” At most, you want to alternate between hard and easy days “so your body has 48 hours to recover.”

But what if you’re concerned about running too little, not too much? Even a little running has been shown to pay huge dividends. In Lee’s study, people who ran as little as 30 to 59 minutes a week—just five to 10 minutes a day—lowered their risk of cardiovascular death by 58% compared to non-runners. Even in small doses, running rocks.

By Markham Heid for Time Health

Yoga exercises you can do anywhere

Yoga exercises

It’s no secret that our yoga mats aren’t attached to our hips. But they don’t have to be. Yoga is one of the most flexible practices out there. All you need is your body and an open mind.

Here are some yoga poses that you can do regardless of where you are:

Eagle Pose:

All you need is a solid ground for this one! Place your weight onto your left foot. Then cross your right thigh over your left thigh and hook the top of your right foot behind your left calf. Breaking a sweat yet? Now, bend your elbows and life them to shoulder height and place your left elbow into the crease of your right elbow. Intertwine your arms and hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Dangle Pose:

Start by spreading your feet apart, bending your knees and bringing your chest to your thighs. Hold onto opposite elbows and stay in this pose for a couple of minutes, where you are literally dangling the upper body for an extended period of time to release the lower back.

 Wide-Legged Forward Bend:

Spread your legs (for the sake of yoga, gee, what were you thinking?) 3 -4 feet apart and hook your hands behind your back. Bend forward so that your torso is parallel to your legs and remain in that stretched position for five whole breaths.

 Garland Pose:

Going from your dangle pose, bring the palms of your hands together and put your inner thighs in line with your triceps. Life your chest and hold the pose for five breathes.

 Standing Pigeon:

Take your right ankle and cross it over your left thigh. Flex your right foot. Get into a squat position and extend your arms in front of you. Hold this pose for five breaths and repeat on the opposite leg.

Lord of the Dance Pose:

Lift your leg as high as possible and hold. Raise your opposite arm towards the sky. Lift your chest and maintain your balance for five breaths. Then repeat on opposite side.

The reason that yoga can be done anywhere at anytime is because it’s one of those practices that aims to engrain itself in our daily rituals. Yoga is about transcending ones environment and leading you to a spiritual awakening. We might love the way our yoga gear looks, but it’s not required. All of our physical belongings are transient in the grand scheme of yoga.

In fact, you don’t need to do these specific poses to be doing yoga anywhere you are. You can engrain them into your everyday activities.

So what activities will actually lead you to yoga? Well, just about anything.

By  for The Plaid Zebra

Golf Training; OTC vs Rx Medications for Pain; Kettleball Training

Episode 17.09 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/ host image

Dr. Nikhil Verma from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush is filling in this week for Dr. Cole.

Segment One (02:14): Joe Estes from Athletico Physical Therapy talks with Steve and Dr. Verma about preventing Golf Injuries, proper warm up routines and the new indoor simulator at Athletico’s Golf Performance Center in Oak Brook that proudly uses the innovative K-Vest to improve the game for professional and amateur golfers.

The technology behind the K-Vest is a three-sensor wireless system that strategically places sensors on a golfer’s hips, shoulders, and hand to measure motion during a golf swing.  The sensors immediately communicate to a computer a 3D analysis.  This analysis allows the instructor to instantly address critical aspects of a golfer’s body such as hip rotation, speed, sequence and timing.

Segment Two (12:55): Dr. Verma and Steve discuss OTC vs Rx Medications; risks ofRelated image addiction, non-drug alternatives and guidelines for use of OTC pain medications. Dr. Verma is Professor and Director, Division of Sports Medicine, Fellowship Director, Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Verma specializes in treatment of the shoulder, elbow and knee with an emphasis on advanced arthroscopic reconstructive techniques of the shoulder, shoulder replacement, knee ligament reconstruction and articular cartilage reconstruction and meniscal transplantation.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the orthopedic program at Rush University Medical Center #4 in the Nation and the highest ranked program in Illinois.

Segment Three (20:00): Gerard Iaculo from Jim Karas Intelligent Fitness & Wellness talks with Steve and Dr. Verma about the use, history and benefits of Kettlebell training.

At, training is grounded in timeless training principles and has over thirty years of experience recognizing the legitimate innovations in our industry that burn fat (NOT MUSCLE), improve functional performance and decrease your risk of any injury.