Want to improve your bone health? Running — a high-intensity and weight-bearing physical activity — for just one to two minutes each day may help you, new research shows.
The findings showed that women who on an average did 60-120 seconds of running per day had four per cent better bone health than those who did less than a minute, while those who ran for more than two minutes a day, had six per cent better bone health.
“We don’t yet know whether it’s better to accumulate this small amount of exercise in bits throughout each day or all at once, and also whether a slightly longer bout of exercise on one or two days per week is just as good as 1-2 minutes a day,” said lead author Victoria Stiles from the University of Exeter. But the research, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, showed a clear link between this kind of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise and better bone health in women.
“It seems likely that just 1-2 minutes of running a day is good for bone health,” Stiles said.
Good bone health has multiple health benefits, including a reduced risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis and fractures in old age. For the study, the team looked at data on more than 2,500 women, and compared activity levels (measured by wrist-worn monitors) with bone health (measured by an ultrasound scan of heel bone). For people interested in increasing their day-to-day levels of activity, Stiles recommended increasing walking activity first.
“Further on, we would suggest adding a few running steps to the walk, a bit like you might if you were running to catch a bus,” Stiles noted.