The last few years put running into a bad light, especially as walking is the more preferred exercise when it comes to losing weight. This doesn’t mean running should be avoided – and yet, there has been a decline in the number of runners for the past three years because of disappointing news like that. But here’s one thing to look forward to if you’ve been a long-time fan of running. According to researchers, running is one of the important keys to longevity. In fact, just an hour of running can add seven hours to your life and up to three more years.
A professor from Iowa State University, along with his colleagues, reviewed data from another study which was done three years ago by the Cooper Institute in Dallas. The new research later concluded that running could help reduce the risk of dying prematurely by almost 40%. Additionally, runners enjoyed a longer lifespan – up to three years longer than their non-running counterparts. And what’s even better is that health factors may not affect the added life expectancy. So, whether a person is a smoker, an alcoholic, or is obese, running could provide the same positive effect.
But how much time should you allocate for running to get the benefits? Research says:
- You should run for 60 minutes daily.
- Run for four hours every week.
- Run for five minutes every day for the next 40 years.
For some, the numbers could imply that we need to run a lot to gain the benefit. After all, the added number of years to a runner is capped at three years. This means that even if you run some more, it is not possible for you to add more hours or years to your life expectancy. Interestingly, while other exercises such as biking and walking are viewed to be beneficial to our health and may even lengthen our lives, they don’t have the same impact to our lifespan as with running.
If you’re worried you’re spending too much time running – since you could spend 2.5 hours per week of doing the activity for the next 50 years – you are actually getting more than what you’re giving. This is because you will only spend time running for 0.74 years, while you get the benefit of extending your lifespan up to three years.
Furthermore, running has other health benefits, including lowering your levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. Living free from stress is an added bonus and can also help you enjoy an even longer life.