The New York Times published research that shows that the life expectancy of people who run is three years longer than those who don’t. The numbers show that one hour of running increases a person’s life by seven hours.
This study shows clear benefits of running to life expectancy which hasn’t been proven as of yet for any other sport. According to this study even smokers and overweight people who run will benefit from longer life expectancy.
The researchers believe that running, regardless of pace or distance lowers the risk of dying young by almost 40%. This reduced risk was found to be true even when throwing other risk factors into the equation such as smoking or other health problems. Other physical activities were proven to improve longevity but none improved it as much as running. Bike riding, walking and other aerobic activities lowered the risk of dying young by only 12%.
The researchers were perplexed as to why running was more effective in improving longevity. They estimate that running helps lower high blood pressure and reduces body fat especially belly fat and other possible factors.
Earlier research also pointed to the advantages of running which include: lowering the risk of getting almost every disease, strengthening the immune system, optimizing the cardio-vascular system, better blood and oxygen circulation around the body, reduced risk of heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke.
Numerous studies show that physical activity combined with maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure and running is the best activity for people with high cholesterol levels. In addition if running or any other physical activity includes lifting weights then bone density will increase and prevent osteoporosis. Studies show that runners fall asleep easier at night and they sleep longer.
Like many physical activities, running is an excellent method to deal with stress, tension and even light depression. Endorphins are released from running and other physical activities which make them happier. Adults who exercise regularly are generally happier than those who don’t. Running improves a person’s tolerance, sense of humor and ambition and makes a person feel calm and free.