Smart Woman: Benefits of Running for Your Health

Published 07/28 2014 04:42PM

Updated 07/28 2014 05:51PM

According to a new study published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology,  running, even for a few minutes, can reduce your risk of death from heart disease compared to those who don't run at all.

Researchers studied, over a 15 year period, some 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 - 100. They noted their overall health, if they ran, and how long they lived.

Compared to non-runners, investigators found those who ran had a 30% lower risk of death from all causes and a 45% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

In fact, runners on average lived 3 years longer compared to those who did not hit the pavement. Runners didn't even have to be skilled runners, they could be people who just plodded along.

When data was broken down by age, sex, body mass index, smoking and alcohol use, the benefits were still the same. The speed at which runners ran made little difference.

Researchers also found those who consistently ran over a period of 6 years or more gained the most benefit. Consistent runners had a 29% lower risk of death for any reason and a 50% lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke.
So if this gives you inspiration to start a running program, even for 5-10 minutes a day, health experts say talk with your doctor. And once you get the green light, get up and go. 

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