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Think jogging is just for health nuts? Results from the Copenhagen City Heart Study have proved that joggers live longer—up to six years longer—than non-joggers. Are you feeling nutty yet?
The study, which included more than 20,000 people over a 35-year span, showed that the risk of death was reduced by 44 percent for joggers. In fact, male joggers benefited from an additional 6.2 years, and female joggers gained 5.6 years.
The good news is that the folks with the highest longevity benefits reported jogging at a slow or average pace only two to three times per week. Benefits are maximized by jogging one to 2.5 hours per week. Any less—or any more—and the benefits decrease.
Tortoise and Hare
Both walking and jogging offer great health benefits you can achieve with a commitment to exercise just a few times per week. If you have joint problems, jogging may not be for you. But walking boasts many of the same health benefits and is a good alternative, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Both walking and jogging:
- Improve mood
- Help prevent obesity
- Increase sexual desire and satisfaction
- Improve sleep
- Increase overall energy
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Raise HDL (good cholesterol)
- Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
- Lower risk of stroke and heart attack
- Reduce risk of dementia
- Improve bone density
- Improve immune function
Jogging seems tougher on your joints than walking, but it turns out that your body may reap benefits from the jolt. A study at Stanford University found that regular high-impact exercise, like running, may better prepare your body for the shocks that come with daily activity like going down stairs or chasing after your kids.
The study showed that regular runners had 25 percent less musculoskeletal pain than non-runners.
In addition, a study by North Carolina State researchers shows that slow or moderate jogging may be less tiring to your muscles than brisk walking. A calf muscle key to movement works more efficiently when running than when walking quickly.
More Reasons to Run
- Say No to Sagging: Running boosts the production of collagen in skin cells and flushes out waste, keeping your skin clearer. Increased blood flow also tones muscles in the face.
- Fast and Smart: Running boosts blood flow to the brain, especially aiding the hippocampus, the part of your brain associated with learning and memory.
- Burn, Baby, Burn: Jogging can actually alter your metabolism, that is, the speed at which your body burns fat.