On average runners can live about three more years than nonrunners, and this holds even if they smoke, run slowly or sporadically, are overweight or drink. The same research showed that there is no other form of exercise that has comparable impact on your life span.
This is a follow up of a study from three years ago that showed the as little as 5 minutes of running per day was connected to longer life span.
After these results, the researchers were flooded with questions from other colleagues and the public, about what other activities were likely to be similarly beneficial as running in prolonging the life spans, and are they sure in their results.
So, in the new study by the Iowa State University researchers addressed all of these questions and reanalyzed the previous data.
The new results just reinforced the previous findings. The data indicated that running, no matter the pace or mileage, dropped the risk of premature death by almost 40%, and this remain true even after adding factors like drinking, smoking or history of health problems.
One of the most interesting findings is that, hour for hour, running returns more time to people lives than it consumes. If you start with average of two hours running per week, you will spend less than six month in running in period of 40 years, but you could expect increase in your life expectancy by 3,2 years. Total gain of 2,8 years.
According to the research one hour of running, prolongs your live span by seven hours.
You should keep in mind that these additions are not infinite, and as doctor Duck-chul Lee from ISU says – running does not make people immortal. The average gains are limited to around three additional years, no matter how much you run. Improvement in life expectancy hit the limit at around four hours of running per week.
One other thing is that even if you don’t get no extra life span, prolonged running does not become counterproductive.