Yes, Running Really is That Good for You
We don’t usually open an article by quoting another article, but it’s hard to top this:
The new study found that, compared to nonrunners, runners tended to live about three additional years, even if they run slowly or sporadically and smoke, drink or are overweight. No other form of exercise that researchers looked at showed comparable impacts on life span.
That is a pretty bold assertion and one that is good news for everyone lacing up their sneakers right now.
This new study is a follow-up on a different study from a few years ago that found similar benefits even for those who run as little as five minutes a day. And that was such good news, and met with such skepticism, that the scientists went back and tried to examine a wider swath of data. Here is another quote from the article:
…running, whatever someone’s pace or mileage, dropped a person’s risk of premature death by almost 40 percent, a benefit that held true even when the researchers controlled for smoking, drinking and a history of health problems such as hypertension or obesity.
And, here is the real money line:
In concrete terms, an hour of running statistically lengthens life expectancy by seven hours, the researchers report.
Now, there is no direct line to running and all these great benefits… yet. There could very well be some explanation as to why runners are this healthy that isn’t just because they run. But if you are doing this exercise thing, we think adding in a few runs every week may be a good idea.