Running is the second best cardio exercise after ski running. Running is awesome. It improves your cario-vascular system, helps heal the lungs from shit hat got inside (coal dust, tar from smoking, etc). You don`t get winded running after the bus, you can get to places faster. It helps lose weight (sometimes it`s counter productive to run, e.i. when you are waaaaaay overweight.
If you are new to running, but really want to commit, then here`s a beginners schedule (derived from personal experience):
Week Day Running time 1 1 15 min fast jog 2 15 min slow jog 3 break 4 15 min fast jog 5 15 min slow jog 6 break 7 20 min slow jog 2 1 15 min fast jog 2 break 3 20 min fast jog 4 20 min slow jog 5 break 6 20 min fast jog 7 20 min slow jog 3 1 break 2 15 min run 3 20 min fast jog 4 break 5 15 min run 6 25 min slow jog 7 20 min fast jog 4 1 break 2 20 min run 3 30 min slow jog 4 25 min fast jog 5 break 6 30 min slow jog 7 20 min run
Now, there are tons of definitions of jog and run, but I consider everything BELOW 7km/h walking, between 7-10 km/h - jogging and everything above 10 - running. Slow jog might be 7-8 km/h and fast can be 8-10 km/h. This is useful if you use a threadmill.
You get 2 break-days a week. I don`t say you should stand and no do anything. Take a walk, do something that is not considered a strenuous exercise. Of course, who can take the breaks together, as a 2-day break, you can switch break days. But try to exercise 5 times a week if you are looking for weight loss and/or improvement in cardio-vascular activity.
If you have any heart problems, I strongly suggest you either don`t do it, or you consult your doctor. Seriously, the world doesn`t need more heart attacks.
I plan on using this schedule in my spring recovery after the run-less winter.