How Many Years Can Running Add to Your Life?

Run For a Longer and Healthier Life.

While the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that healthy adults should engage in high-intensity aerobic exercise such as running for about 75 minutes per week, a new study conducted at Iowa State University suggested that running at a slow speed for about 5 to 10 minutes per day could be enough to help you live longer and healthier.

For the study, the research team headed by Duck-Chul “D.C” Lee, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the said university, assessed the data of more than 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100, whom they monitored for an average of 15 years. The causes of death during the follow-up period were analyzed and then compared to the medical history questionnaire completed by the respondents themselves to assess how their running habits affected their life expectancy.

Running Can Reduce Mortality Risks
Of the more than 3,000 respondents who died from all causes and the 1,217 who died as a result of cardiovascular events during the follow-up period, about 24% regularly ran on a weekly basis.

Based on the data the research team collected, they observed that the respondents who engaged in running are less likely to die from all-causes (30%) and cardiovascular causes (45%) as compared to those who did not engage in running. The researchers also went on to add that runners are more likely to live 3 years longer than non-runners.

However, the best part of the study’s findings is the observation that the health benefits and lower mortality rates brought about by running does not depend on how long or how fast you run. The respondents who ran less than an hour per week enjoy the same benefits as those who ran more than 3 hours per week. In fact, even those who ran at a slow speed for a mere 5 to 10 minutes a day significantly reduced their mortality risks.

The study also went on to say that too much running can eventually do more harm than good. According to Lee, running for longer periods can cause bone or joint damage and may even lead to heart attacks. In fact, a study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology suggested that marathon running may be bad for your heart since it can cause significant injury to the heart muscle and may result in cardiac abnormalities.

As this particular study indicates, every step counts – especially when it comes to keeping your health in good shape. So, get into the habit of running or jogging even for just 5 to 10 minutes per day and see how it can help you add several years to your life.