Can you run toward a longer life?

Studies show that the time invested in running can yield a surprisingly high return


A new study suggests that running not only keeps you fit and healthy, but extends your lifespan too.

According to the study, running cuts the risk of premature mortality by 25 to 40 percent.

It is estimated that joggers and runners live on average 3.2 years longer than non-runners.

If that were not incentive enough the research revealed that a one-hour run can add seven hours to your life expectancy.

Most of us would consider that a reasonable return.


How Much Running Is Needed To Reap The Benefits?

The study, published March 29 in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, examined the longevity benefits of running and aimed to discover if other forms of exercise offer the same perks.

The researchers compared running with walking and biking and other types of physical activity.

Although all forms of exercise promoted longevity, reducing the risk of premature death by about 12 percent, none came close to the benefits of running.

According to the findings, two to four hours of running per week is sufficient to gain the lifespan bonus.

Higher levels of exercise are still beneficial, but they won't add any more years to your life expectancy.


Runners Are More Health Conscious

Researchers from the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas, were revisiting a previous study which revealed that running every week for as little as five to 10 minutes a day significantly reduces overall mortality risk by as much 30 percent.

Considering past data, and comparing it to other studies on the subject, they speculate that the relationship between running and longevity was more associational than causal.

Runners do live longer lives, mainly because they are more generally health conscious than their sedentary contemporaries.

Of course that doesn’t mean that running has no effect at all, just that if it was the only healthy thing that you did it would not have anything like the same impact.

Other observers were quick to point out that running is not an option for the large numbers of those who suffer impaired mobility but that the main lesson to take from the research is that a healthy lifestyle that includes some form of exercise will extend life expectancy for anyone.

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