Study: Runners Live Longer; Stay Healthier

Leave the first response August 12, 2008 / Posted in The Running Mind

Some evidence is in that running is good for you if you want to live a long and healthy life .  The research titled: Reduced Disability and Mortality Among Aging Runners: A 21-Year Longitudinal Study

A study published by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers show that over a 20 year period middle-aged individuals who were part of a runner’s club were half as likely to die when compared to a control group that didn’t.

The research was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. It followed 284 people over the age of 50 that ran several times a week since 1984. It compared them to a control group of 156 healthy people who were similar.

The participants, the runners and the control group, were Stanford University faculty and staff. They were all over 50 with similar social and economic backgrounds.

These researchers found that running reduced the risk not only of heart disease, but of cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Runners over 50 that ran on a regular basis for several years suffered fewer disabilities. Running gave them a longer span of active life. The research results showed that runners reduced their risk of dying early by 50 percent compared to inactive people. The difference in health between runners and non runners was seen even for those approaching 90.

Some comments based on these findings would indicate that the benefits of regular exercise might reduce risk of death and disability due to:

  • Increasing cardiovascular fitness,
  • Improving aerobic capacity,
  • Increased bone mass,
  • Lower levels of inflammatory markers,
  • Improved response to vaccinations and
  • Improved thinking and other brain functions..
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