There is no lack of evidence when it comes to the benefits of exercise. Research has proven time and again that staying active decreases the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and more.
Now, a new study piles on to the body of facts, suggesting that running not only keeps a person physically fit, it can also boost longevity. Those who jog and run a lot live 3.2 years longer than those who don’t run, the research states. Running cuts the risk of an early death by 25-40%, Tech Times reports.
In addition, running for just one hour can extend a person’s lifespan by up to seven hours.
Researchers at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas, examined the effect of running on longevity, and sought to discover if other forms of exercise provided the same benefits. They compared running with walking and cycling, as well as other forms of physical activity. While all of the other forms of exercise proved to extend a person’s lifespan, dropping the risk of premature mortality by around 12%, none came close to the perks that running gave.
The study then tried to determine how much running was needed for a person to really benefit from more years. As it turns out, two to four hours of running weekly is the most effective – doing more isn’t harmful, but it won’t add any more years, either.
The researchers said,
Running may have the most public health benefits, but is not the best exercise for everyone since orthopedic or other medical conditions can restrict its use by many individuals.
The authors of the study then re-analyzed their data, including other information, and found that the relationship between running and a longer life is associational – this means runners live longer because they are more health conscious. Runners who also engage in other types of exercise maintain this low risk of dying early.
The study was published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.