If you are a runner, you already know the physical and mental benefits of hitting the pavement. If you tend to avoid the track, it’s time to reconsider. You could significantly lengthen your life with as little as one hour of jogging a week.
In a recent study, European researchers sought to answer the question, “Is jogging good for you health?” The results show that regular jogging increased the life expectancy of men by 6.2 years, and women by 5.6 years.
The research, presented at the EuroPRevent2012 meeting, was part of the larger Copenhagen City Heart Study. To determine whether jogging is healthy, researchers surveyed 1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers between 1976 and 2003. They asked the study participants how many hours a week they ran, as well as their pace—slow, average, or fast.
After following the runners for a maximum of 35 years, it turns out that one to 2.5 hours of running at a “slow or average” pace, over two to three sessions, had the most benefits.
By using the subjective pace definition, it can easily be fitted to individuals. “You should aim to feel a little breathless, but not very breathless,” Peter Schnohr, the chief cardiologist of the Copenhagen City Heart Study, told EurekAlert.
The study also showed that the risk of death was greater for people who ran less than one hour a week, as well as those putting in heavy miles or running at faster paces. As with drinking alcohol, moderate running has the most benefits.