Most of us might be of the opinion that in order to lead a long and healthy life, one must be required to run strenuously and for long distances. However, according to a new study, the ideal amount of running is far less than what many of us might expect. In addition, runners who tend to run vigorously are likely to have shortened lifespans, as compared to those who run at a leisurely pace.
A greater number of physicians and exercise experts are voicing their opinion that an intense exercise schedule is a must, at least, on a few occasions. They are of the opinion that people, who walk at a brisk pace, live lengthier lives than those who walk slowly and cover the same distance. In a similar manner, a dated study conducted among a group of cyclists in Denmark revealed that cyclists who tended to ride hard and strenuously were likely to live longer lives than easy riders.
The Danish researchers who published the conclusion of the cyclists’ study felt unsatisfied and were intrigued by the results brought out by the study. In fact, the study brought forth a number of unanswered questions, for example, there was no clear definition on how much exercise that was intense in nature would help in safeguarding an individual against premature death. The study also did not throw light on whether there is a ceiling to the advantages from exercising vigorously, and with regards to lifespan, whether an individual should exercise tirelessly for the rest of his life.
Hence, for the recent study that was published last month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology–researchers and exercise scientists–most of them connected with the University of Copenhagen took inspiration and official documents regarding the health habits of the Danes from the Copenhagen City Heart study.
In the latest study, the researchers focused on running instead of cycling, since running is far more popular across the world. Data was gathered for 1100 adult men and women across the age spectrum, who registered themselves as joggers when they entered the study in 2001. These participant joggers also provided data on the number of miles they ran each week, at what pace and for the duration.
Research scientists on the study also gathered data for over 4000 age-matched volunteers, who revealed in the year 2001 that they did not participate in any kind of strenuous exercise, or in some cases, no exercise at all.
All the participants were deemed healthy at the beginning of the study, without any evidence of obesity or diseases.
At the end of 2014, the scientific experts compared the data of both the volunteers in both participant groups against death records. Based on average life expectancies, the researchers also studied if the participants had shortened lifespans or were living longer.
In conclusion and as expected, runners tended to have longer life spans than people who did not exercise at all. What was even more surprising, were the results that emerged when the scientists minutely analysed the data on how intensely people ran or the average amount of distances.
It was seen that the correct amount of running for a long lifespan, according to the nuanced analysis, was approximately 45 min to 2:30 hours every week. And the right kind of pacing was slow. Slow joggers who plodded through their course were seen to live longer lives than those who ran intensely and faster. It was seen that the runners who ran at the fastest pace and jogged most often did not enjoy added benefits in terms of mortality. Instead, the lifespans of such individuals were approximately the same as those who did not exercise at all.
Hence the message of this study remains that exercise is overall desirable and a healthy habit to cultivate and that a little sweat can take you a long way towards good health and long life.
Image Credit: Flickr
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