Monday, October 1, 2012

Good for Your Health and Your Longevity

No one wants to get older but it's a fact of life and slowly it just happens. There is, however, good news for those who keep fit. Medical advice has always been that regular aerobic exercise is good for the heart and body - and numerous studies have shown that people who are fit are more likely to live longer.
Now new research from the US reveals that running regularly can actually slow the effects of aging. The Stanford University Medical Center study found that elderly joggers are half as likely as non-runners to die prematurely from conditions such as cancer.
The research also discovered that runners who exercise into later life are much less likely to suffer disabilities.
The study looked at 500 older runners - all in their early 50s - over a period of two decades. They then compared their health to a similar group of non-runners. After 19 years, just over a third of the non-runners had died compared to only 15% of the runners.
Both groups did become more disabled with age, but for the runners the onset of disability started an average of 16 years later. And once the runners entered their ninth decade, the health gap became increasingly wide.
The reasons why running good for health in old age
  • Running helps to slow the rate of heart and artery-related deaths.
  • Running is linked to fewer early deaths from cancer and neurological disease.
  • Runners are less likely to suffer osteoarthritis or need total knee replacements than non-runners. Fact!
How much running do you need to do to stay in good health?
The study found that in their 50s the runners ran around fours hours each a week on average.
After two decades, the average time spent running was 76 minutes. But the runners were still reporting health benefits.
Sadly, figures from Age Concern show that more than 90% of people in the UK over the age of 75 fail to meet international guidelines of half-an-hour moderate intensity exercise at least five times a week.
The facts are that it's easier to keep on running into older age than it is to take up running in later life. But you are never too old to start running. You are advised to begin slowly by walking each day and then build up to a regular jog.
Even just half an hour of jogging a few times a week is enough to improve your health and to hold back the years.

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