How would our society benefit if everyone ran? I recently read an article in Runner’s World about research that was conducted to demonstrate the positive benefits our society would reap if 270 million nonrunning Americans started running 30 minutes a week. For those that run already, you know that 30 minutes a week is very doable. For those that don’t run or exercise at all, you probably are wondering where you will find 30 minutes a week. If you want to start running or exercising even one day a week and are having a hard time figuring out when to do it, you need to schedule it. Some suggestions to fit it in would be watch one less TV show, do it while your child is at practice, wake up early or stay up late. Just try to fit it in. When I am running, one of the phrases I repeat in my head is that I can do anything for ___ minutes. You may want to start with 5 minutes a day for 6 days and work up to 30. However you choose to get moving will always be better than doing nothing at all.
One estimate from the research that I think could be the most important to our society, is the potential savings in annual healthcare costs. The article references a savings of $143 BILLION in annual savings. This number was calculated using cost estimates from the American Heart Association and the National Diabetes Education Program combined with findings from the journal Hypertension. The idea is that running or any aerobic exercise will reduce the incidence of stroke, heart attack and diabetes. I would imagine anyone reading this has heard this a million times and knows the positive impact aerobic exercise has on your health. If you are interested in checking out the estimated benefits, click here to read about it.
If 270 million nonrunning Americans were to start running 30 minutes a week, the benefits would be –
48,081,000 fewer cigarettes smoked daily – obvious benefits here
1.62 billion more birthday cakes because people are living longer – 6.2 years in men and 5.6 years in women
20% stronger memory – studies show vigorous exercise like running can boost recall by 20%
10% more earning potential – people who do some type of regular exercise make more money that someone who is sedentary
37% more smiles – Exercise is scientifically proven to make us happier, reducing anger by 83% and improving mood by 37%. I think we could all use more smiles in our lives.
The article also pointed out the numerous benefits exercise provides such as less time in front of a screen and more time outside enjoying this beautiful world we live in. I can only imagine the positive impact this would have on other issues we have in our world specifically childhood obesity.
If you don’t already exercise at least 30 minutes a week, you can make the choice today to be one of the 270 million people who will make a difference in our world.
Let me know if this article has made a difference in how you feel about exercising and what piece of research meant the most to you.