I’m not much of a fitness buff—I do what I can to stay healthy, but you won’t find me climbing a rope in a CrossFit gym—but out of all the forms of exercise one can do, running is my least favorite. I don’t get a “runner’s high” or sense of accomplishment; I get knee pain and a bit of asthma.
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However, it might be time to take it up. The results of a recent study published in Progress in Cardiovascular Disease show, “in general, runners have a 25–40 percent reduced risk of premature mortality and live approximately three years longer than non-runners.”
A good thing to note: You don’t have to be marathon status to get this result. Researchers discovered that just two hours of running a week can result in the extra three years of longevity. Even if you only have time for five minutes of running a day, your chances of living longer increase.
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And like me, if running just isn’t in your DNA, there are other ways to benefit. Walking at a brisk pace and cycling were also shown to increase your life span and lower your risk of premature death thanks to the cardio factor, but not as much as running.
Looks like we now know more than ever that the oxygen boost and cardiac health perks we get from running really make our heart thrive. When they say, “Exercise is the best medicine,” they aren’t lying.
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