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Study: Even Moderate Running Can Add Years to Your Life

Good news for runners. Whether you are a 15 minute miler or an elite marathoner, researchers say running can add three years to your life.
Good news for runners.  Whether you are a 15 minute miler or an elite marathoner, researchers say running can add three years to your life.

Whether you plod or race, running, even for a few minutes,  can reduce your risk of death from heart disease compared to those who don't run at all.

That's according to a new study published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers studied some 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100, over a 15 year period,  noting their overall health, if they ran and how long they lived.

Compared to non-runners, investigators found  those who ran had a 30 percent lower risk of death from all causes and a 45 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

In fact runners on average lived three years longer compared to those who did not hit the pavement.

When data was broken down by age, sex, body mass index , smoking and alcohol use, the benefits were still the same.  The speed at which runners ran made little difference.

Researchers also found those who consistently ran over a  period of six years or more gained the most benefit, with a 29 percent lower risk of death for any reason and 50 percent lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke. 

So if this gives you inspiration to start a running program - even for five to ten minutes a day - health experts say talk with your doctor. 

Once you get the green light, get up and go.


(Susan Hendricks for CNN's Health Minute)


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