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!