Jog your way to a longer life

It is something that the running community has known for years, but now science is also backing up the anecdotes. Running is good for you!

Whether you are a marathon runner or a weekend fun runner, you will be pleased to know that new research from Denmark has demonstrated that regular jogging has a positive effect upon your health.

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Copenhagen University researcher Dr Peter Schnohr has been studying the impact of jogging on mortality and his work has shown that people who jog regularly are likely to increase their life-span by up to five or six years.

During his investigations, cardiologist, Dr Schnohr studied 20,000 women and men with an age range of 20-93 years. The research sought to explore the relationship between regular, not too strenuous, jogging upon status and life expectancy.

The study found that the health benefits of jogging include:

• Improves heart function. • Improves the absorption of oxygen.

• Increases endurance.

• Helps prevent obesity.

• In the longer term reductions in blood pressure.

• Supports the immune system.

In addition, the study found that regular jogging – even if this is only for one or two hours a week – increases average life expectancy. For women, regular jogging added five years and six months to their life span, while for men it was a whopping six years and two months.

The research proves that non-strenuous jogging can have a positive impact upon health, and the good news is that it is never too late to start. Even if you have led a sedentary life for years, if you start jogging, you can make a difference.

What is non-strenuous jogging?

A non-strenuous jog means you are running at a pace that allows you to still continue a conversation. If you cannot talk and jog, then you are running at a pace that is putting more of a strain on your cardio-vascular system. This is fine if you are training to get faster, but if you are just looking to increase your well-being and health then try to keep the pace at a manageable level.

For beginners, non-strenuous jogging will be little quicker than a walk. As you are running, look ahead, relax your shoulders and neck, swing your arms in time with your legs and just let your body move at its own comfortable pace. Try to hit the ground with your heel first, then take off from your toes, keep your knees ‘soft’ and, as you are running try to keep your knees and toes pointing forwards so your are jogging in a streamlined way.

As you get fitter and more confident, increase the pace slightly and enjoy the sensation of being outdoors and feeling great.

Written by: Esther Horvath

(picture: energylabatl)

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