Don’t Want to Get Old? Run! Sport & Health 14 AUG 2008

RunnerSo a recently released study by the Stanford University School of Medicine that was conducted over a period of two decades has yielded an interesting result: it would seem that running can slow the ageing process!

Essentially the study tracked 538 people, all over 50 and who were actively running several times a week since 1984, and then compared this group to a similar group of non-runners. If found that on average the runners suffered far fewer disabilities, had a longer span of active life and reduced their risk of dying early by 50% compared to the inactive group!

Apparently as the subjects aged, the health gap between the runners and non-runners widened, continuing even into their 90s and it is thought that the reason behind this lies in the fact that runners generally have a leaner body mass as well tendency to exercise healthier lifestyle habits. The effects on delaying death also proved a little more dramatic than first expected – in the nineteen years since the study first began, 34% or the non-runners have already died, compared to just 15% of the running group!

So in a nutshell, if you have to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would simply be aerobic exercise.

Now, if you want to read up a little further on this particular study, track down a copy of the Archives of Internal Medicine and search for Professor James Fries, the senior author on the study.

Me? I’m going to break my running shoes out of course!

About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two young ladies. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.