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!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.