Joggers Live Longer

We have known for some time that jogging is good for your health.  It is one of the tried and true methods of staying in good physical shape.  And new data released from a long-term study in Copenhagen, Denmark backs that up in spades.


The Copenhagen City Heart study, which has been taking place since 1976, and followed nearly 20,000 men and women between the ages of 20 to 93. The goal of the study has been to increase the understanding of methods for preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke.  Researchers used the data from this study to compare the mortality rates of 1,116 males and 762 females who were listed as regular joggers with the rest of the people in the study. When the numbers were crunched, researchers found that risk of death was decreased by an average of 44% for joggers during the 35-year study. This works out to an increased longevity of roughly 6.4 years for those that jog regularly.


The largest increase in longevity came from those who jogged a modest amount (between one and 2.5 hours per week at a slow or average pace).  Researchers point out that people should put forth enough effort to feel slightly out of breath, though not to over-exert themselves.  They also point out that the indicated increased life expectancy can most likely be attributed to the multiple health benefits of jogging, including (but not limited to):

  • Increased heart function
  • Improved bone density
  • Improved immune function
  • Increased insulin sensitivity
  • Increased oxygen intake
  • Improved lipid profiles
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Obesity prevention


It is always nice to see research reinforce existing practices for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and staying healthy.  Now you can rest assured that when you take to the trails, you just might be adding some extra time to your life.  So get to it!

Berries Help Preserve Memory

Just about everyone loves to eat berries.  And why wouldn’t they?  They’re delicious!  But a recent study has found that berries may do more than just tickle our taste buds.

Elizabeth Devore, an instructor in medicine at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, lead a study which found that women who had the highest level of berry intake delayed cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years.  Devore attributes this boost in memory strength to the flavonoids found in the berries.

Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant found in many foods such as berries, citrus fruits, apples, tea, red wine and onions.  Flavonoids have been found in past research to help reduce the risk of diseases such as cancers, diabetes and even heart disease.  What makes the flavonoids found in berries special for memory is a particular type of flavonoid known as anthocyanidin.  This special flavonoid has the ability to cross from blood into the brain, and typically end up in the section of the brain associated with learning and memory.

If you think your ability to remember things is starting to get a little fuzzy, it may be time to add more berries to your diet.  Those little flavonoids can work wonders!

Longer Commutes May Pose Health Hazards

Nobody likes being stuck in traffic.  It often makes us frustrated, stressed out, late for work, wastes gas and is hard on your car.  Those of us with longer commutes typically suffer these side effects even more.  But did you know that these frustrating drives are actually bad for your physical health as well?


A study out of Washington University has recently confirmed a link between spending more time in your car and significant weight gain when compared to those who are able to walk or ride their bike to work.  While it is unclear as to the exact tie, most data points to those with longer commutes simply not burning as many calories by sitting for longer.


Previous studies have also linked extended periods of time sitting with increased risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease and early death.  Long commutes have also been linked with higher blood pressure due to the stresses of traffic.  With all of these discerning side effects of longer commutes combined, it is quite motivating to try and limit our commute times.  For those of us that don’t have a choice in the matter, doctors encourage you to try and find small pockets of time throughout the day to increase your physical activity.  Companies are also encouraged to allow and even promote physical activity breaks during work hours.


So next time you get behind the wheel for that long drive to work, try to start thinking of ways to incorporate more physical activity into your day, no matter how small.  It’s more important than ever!