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/ Source: TODAY
By Gabrielle Frank

Today, over 17,000 people in 153 countries have pledged to go for a run in honor of Global Running Day. Will you join them?

Now might be the time to start a running habit. Not only is it easy to do and accessible for everyone — running is also one of the best forms of exercise out there.

Running, or any other aerobic exercise, can improve our well-being and ease depression according to a recent study in the journal Cognition & Emotion. A 2019 poll, commissioned by lululemon, found that 55% of runners experience stress relief while they run, while 52% said that running helps them clear their minds. Another study found that running for even just five to 10 minutes a day, at a slow pace, can help to reduce risks of death from cardiovascular disease and other causes.

Need a few more reasons to start a running habit? Check out these stories, then lace up your sneakers and get outside!

1. Any form of exercise — including running — can lower your risk for 13 types of cancer.

People who exercised had a lower risk of lung cancer, kidney cancer, stomach cancer and more.

2. Getting regular exercise can protect your heart.

This is true especially for obese people. Physical activity can also lower the risk of heart damage in middle-aged and older adults, a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found.

People who exercise regularly experience the greatest benefits. Aim to work out at moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. At least three days a week, aim to amp up the intensity for 25 minutes.

3. You can do a full-body workout by just running two-minute intervals.

Jenna Wolfe will show you how.

4. There are countless apps that can help you accomplish your running goals.

Shape magazine fitness director Jaclyn Emerick shares her favorites.

5. Why run when you can "crun"?

Try this challenging variation on the traditional running form.

6. Exercise might be the best way to fight Alzheimer’s.

A recent study found that moderate to heavy exercisers had half the risk of developing dementia compared to less active people.

"Exercise can protect against Alzheimer's because it not only increases blood flow to the brain, but it loosens up that amyloid plaque, the bad sticky stuff that gets caught up and gunked up in the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell & New York-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, told TODAY.

7. Running just five minutes a day could keep you healthy.

Researchers recently found that runners of any kind had a lower risk of death than non-runners.

Celebrate Global Running Day with a quick run outside — even if it's just for five minutes, it will be worth it.