Running may be the single most effective exercise to increase life expectancy. Runners tended to live about three additional years, even if they run slowly or sporadically and smoke, drink or are overweight. No other form of exercise showed comparable impacts on life span. As little as five minutes of daily running was associated with prolonged life spans.
Running , whatever someone’s pace or mileage be, dropped a person’s risk of premature death by almost 40 percent, a benefit that held true even when the researchers controlled for smoking, drinking and a history of health problems such as hypertension or obesity.
If every nonrunner took up the sport, there would have been 16 percent fewer deaths over all, and 25 percent fewer fatal heart attacks.
In concrete terms, an hour of running statistically lengthens life expectancy by seven hours,
Of course, running does not make people immortal. The gains in life expectancy are capped at around three extra years,however much people run.
The good news is that prolonged running does not seem to become counterproductive for longevity, .
Meanwhile, other kinds of exercise also reliably benefited life expectancy, but not to the same degree as running. Walking, cycling and other activities, even if they required the same exertion as running, typically dropped the risk of premature death by about 12 percent.
Why running should be so uniquely potent against early mortality remains uncertain, It is likely, that it combats many of the common risk factors for early death, including high blood pressure and extra body fat, especially around the middle.
It also raises aerobic fitness, and high aerobic fitness is one of the best-known indicators of an individual’s long-term health.
People who run tend also to be people who live longer, but not that running directly causes the increases in longevity. Runners typically also lead healthy lives, and their lifestyles may be playing an outsize role in mortality.
Running could add years to our lives. So pick up those running shoes and run.