You do what you can to stay in shape—to build a healthy lifestyle that will stand the test of time—but what if you’re sabotaging yourself? A new Danish study suggests that too much physical activity could cut your life short. So, if your end goal is longevity, then your means for getting there should be light jogging.
In the Copenhagen City Heart study, researchers identified and tracked 1,098 healthy joggers and 413 healthy (but sedentary) non-joggers over a span of 12 years. Logged hours of jogging, frequency, and the participant’s perception of pace were all record.
The findings were surprising, if not a little worrisome. Fast-paced runners and people who jog strenuously and frequently were just as likely to die as those who didn’t jog at all. The optimal frequency of jogging was no more than three times (about 2.4 hours) per week.
The Huffington Post reports: “It is important to emphasize that the pace of the slow joggers corresponds to vigorous exercise and strenuous jogging corresponds to very vigorous exercise,” said Dr. Peter Schnohr, a researcher from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, in a written release. “When performed for decades, this activity level could pose health risks, especially to the cardiovascular system.”
In short, keep moving, just don’t kill yourself—or you really will kill yourself.