Runners Likely to Outlive Non-Runners by 3 Years

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A new study suggests that running may be the best form of exercise out there. Beside lowering a person’s risk of cancer and heart disease, it can also prolong one’s life by a non-negligible amount.

The research was published in March in the Progress in Cardiovascular Disease.

Study authors, who said they had reviewed the benefits of running in the past, decided this time, to see whether biking and other forms of physical activity have similar benefits as jogging.

The study revealed that biking and walking too can add precious years to one’s life, but not as much as running can. Scientists estimate that a single hour of running adds seven hours to one’s lifespan. The exercise can add in total three years to a person’s life, the findings show.

However, the benefits were observed in runners who engaged in the healthy routine four hours per week. There were no extra benefits if they clocked more hours, but the extra running didn’t do any harm either.

Nonetheless, the latest research found only a significant link between running and longevity. Researchers underlined that they found runners tend to live longer, but that isn’t necessarily tied just to running. For instance, people who routinely run tend to adopt healthier lifestyles which include healthier diets, non-smoking, moderate amounts of alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight.

The research also revealed that running should be combined with other types of physical exercise for maximum benefits. Although mixing running with other exercises doesn’t extend the life span beyond the plus-three-year cap, the combination can yield more health benefits. Federal guidelines also recommend mixing aerobic exercises such as running with strength training.

Study authors couldn’t tell how much running is safe, but they said people with orthopedic and other similar medical conditions should try other forms of exercise.

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