Running is one of the simplest, cheapest and most effective forms of exercise. Countless studies prove its health benefits. In fact, in 2015, the largest ever review of running research linked the sport to lower risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, certain cancers, early death and—perhaps surprisingly—osteoarthritis. One of the biggest surprises from this data: you can reap all of these benefits from running just 6 miles (roughly 52 minutes) per week.
Millions of runners across the nation hoof it for miles and miles, day after day, to stay in shape, enjoy nature, savor solo time or simply have fun. But maybe you feel ready to push yourself to go longer or harder or to achieve a personal goal you never thought possible. That feeling may explain why more than half a million runners finished a U.S. marathon in 2015, according to the Running USA Annual Marathon Report.