For people who run, even just a little bit, I’m sure that the general consensus is that running is a healthy activity. Ask a runner to be more specific and you might get an answer like it burns calories, or its good for your heart, or something more generic, but specifics about the long-term health benefits of running are few and far between.
For that very reason a group of researchers set out to find out if running regularly really did impart long term health benefits. Their results were published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology which is due out on August 5th. The head line is an eye catching one: Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk.
We win. Runners live forever. Hooray!
Well, not exactly, but the results are certainly promising, showing as much as a 45% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 3 year life expectancy benefit. And from there, the news actually gets better, because you do not have to be a marathon runner or an olympic sprinter to experience these benefits. In fact, the type of running described in the report are absolutely achievable for anyone interested in just giving running a shot.
According to the study, the following is enough to engender these remarkable health benefits:
Running roughly 51 minutes a week
Running roughly 6 miles a week
Running 1 to 2 times a week
Running roughly 6 mph (10 minute mile pace)
That is a very achievable goal even for a novice runner and that is probably just enough running to ensure that you catch the running bug. Plus, once you have the bug, you’ll have an extra three years to keep running! Now I am not a doctor, but that sounds pretty enticing.
…and that’s science.