Run your way to health

It’s no secret I love to run.

While I’m still climbing my way back into ‘Fitness Land’ after a few niggles and focusing on other things (work/career… you know the drill) for a bit, I have some big goals ahead and even managed to run in my first Park Run in months!

For me, running is happiness, my “me” time. It’s a stress reliever, it clears my mind, it helps me to feel good about myself… not to mention the other benefits that come with being fitter – more energy, mental clarity, better sleep… the list goes on.

But the benefits of regular running aren’t just anecdotal.

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine ­has revealed that running – no matter how often or how far – significantly lowers the risk of death from any cause but particularly from heart disease and cancer.

To determine how running lowers risk of death and improves health, study researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 14 suitable studies, involving 232,149 people, whose health was tracked for between 5.5 and 35 years.

The researchers found that any amount of running was associated with a 27 per cent lower risk of death from all causes for both males and females, compared to no running.

Running lowered the risk of death from heart disease and cancer by 30 and 23 per cent respectively.

They found that even small ‘doses’ of running (e.g. less than once a week for less than 50 minutes) was associated with health benefits.     

Now, while the study is small (n=14) and it’s an observational study so you can’t establish cause, and while more study is needed into the area, the researchers concluded:

“Increased rates of participation in running, regardless of its does, would probably lead to substantial improvements in population health and longevity.

“Any amount of running, even just once a week, is better than no running.”

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to lace up the runners and head out the door for a run!


To read the full study, visit: www.scimex.org/newsfeed/any-amount-of-running-makes-you-less-likely-to-die/multimedia/Any-Amount-of-Running-BMJ-paper.pdf

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