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Runners at class running for 30 minutes with colorful shirts

Why 30 minutes?

Does a run have to be long to be effective?

The amount one should run depends on a person’s individual goals. However, 30 minutes is a great goal that is doable in a busy schedule and has significant health benefits, both physically and mentally.

Daily activity is key

According to the U.S. Department of Health, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, or a combination of both. This translates to about 30 minutes a day, five days a week for moderate-intensity exercise, or 25 minutes a day, three days a week for vigorous-intensity exercise.

For walkers, that means you need to push a good pace to get to a moderate intensity. For beginner runners, running 30 minutes a day 2-3 times a week, plus other added exercise, is a great goal to reach moderate to vigorous intensity. For experienced runners, you don’t always have to train vigorously. Easy pace runs qualify for moderate intensity (and doing several easy runs are important for runners to reach their goals).

At Moms on the Run, our classes are typically an hour long, with 30 minute runs and time to do strength and mobility work to prevent injuries. At just 30 minutes of regular running, you’ll reap many rewards:

  1. Improved Cardiovascular Health: Running is an excellent aerobic exercise that helps strengthen the heart and improve cardiovascular health. Regular running can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve circulation.
  2. Weight Management: Running is a high-calorie-burning activity that can help with weight management and weight loss. Running for 30 minutes a day can burn a significant number of calories, especially when combined with a healthy diet.
  3. Stronger Muscles and Bones: Running engages multiple muscle groups, including the legs, core, and upper body. Over time, regular running can lead to stronger muscles and bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and improving overall strength and endurance.
  4. Improved Mood and Mental Health: Running triggers the release of endorphins, also known as “feel-good” hormones, which can improve mood and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also increase energy levels and promote better sleep, leading to improved mental well-being.
  5. Enhanced Cognitive Function: Regular aerobic exercise like running has been shown to improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. It can also reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline and improve overall brain health.
  6. Boosted Immune System: Moderate-intensity exercise like running can boost the immune system, making you less susceptible to illnesses like colds and flu. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and avoid overtraining, which can weaken the immune system.
  7. Increased Longevity: Studies have found that regular runners tend to live longer than non-runners. Running for just 30 minutes a day can contribute to a longer, healthier life by reducing the risk of chronic diseases and improving overall fitness and well-being.
  8. Social Benefits: Joining a running group like Moms on the Run and connecting with others who share your passion for running can provide motivation, support, accountability and — one of the best benefits — friends!