Just One Minute of Running Equals Stronger Bones

What if all it takes is one minute of running a day to strengthen your bones? Would you take a lap around the block before your morning shower? Run to the mailbox and back? Jog in place in the kitchen? According to a new study, women who averaged 60–120 seconds of high-intensity, weight-bearing activity per day—equivalent to a medium-paced run for pre-menopausal women, or a slow jog for post-menopausal women—had 4 percent better bone health than those who did less than a minute.

Because the cross-sectional study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, assessed data taken from a subset of the population at a particular point in time, it’s unclear whether the high-intensity physical activity led to stronger bones, or whether those with better bone health do more of this exercise. Either way, results suggest that even short snippets of high-intensity activity are beneficial for bone health.

If you are interested in increasing your day-to-day levels of activity, boosting your walking activity is a good place to start. Then you can add a few running steps, similar to if you were running to catch a bus.

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