Jogging Leads to Longer Life

runnerA recent study has found that those who jog regularly are likely to live longer than those who don’t.

Danish researchers analyzed health and jogging patterns in adults aged 20-79. They studied each patient in two year periods in 1976, 1986, 1991, and 2001. Researchers found that subjects who ran at least an hour a week had lived an average of 6 years longer than those who did not run. Joggers also reported a better sense of well-being.

“The results of our research allow us to definitively answer the question of whether jogging is good for your health,” says Dr. Peter Schnohr, chief cardiologist from the study.”We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The good news is that you don’t actually need to do that much to reap the benefits.”

Dr. Silverman Comments

Exercise improves your health. Everyone knows that, but does exercise translate to a prolonged life? According to this study, it does.  Dr. Schnohr claims that people will live an average of 6 years longer if they jog at least 1-2.5 hours each week at a slow and steady pace.

These findings are not surprising and should provide a sense of relief to people. You don’t have to be training to win the Boston marathon to get the life extension benefits from exercise. Long, slow distance exercising has been part of human culture since the dawn of time. Christopher McDougal, author of the book Born to Run, makes a strong claim that running steadily for hours at a time is not only therapeutic, but natural.

So get off the couch, turn off the computer and hit the ground running. Even better, make it barefoot running and you’ll add years to your life and cut down on the risk of foot and ankle injuries.



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Lance Silverman, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon and founder of Silverman Ankle & Foot. Treating Minnesotans with Ankle & Foot problems since 2004.

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  1. Marc Manko says

    Wasnt there also a similar study done recently that showe that long distance marathoners and distance endurance athletes live roughly 10 years less than the average ‘healthy’ individual? is this due to excess stress and hypertrophy in the left ventricla and valve damage? or are there other stress to the body factors here?

    • says

      I believe you are referring to distance athletes and the excess stress placed on their bodies.

      “The stress of marathon running seems to be better described as a burden of myocardial overstimulation rather than cardiac injury.”

      Exercise is important, but the excess stress placed on the heart by extreme distances like marathon running can be damaging. Here is the contradiction: We are born to run distances, but we are not born to run distances at the most intense pace possible. We are designed to chase down prey over an extended day, not run 26.2 miles in less than 4 hours.

      We should exercise very hard some days and very easy other days. Repetitive long distance exercise 6 days a week is excessive and causes stress that is not healthy.

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