There's good news for those who enjoy a light jog a few times a week: jogging lightly may help you live longer, a new study from Denmark suggests. However, running too hard may have health drawbacks.
Researchers analyzed information from about 1,000 healthy joggers ages 20 to 86, and about 400 people who were healthy, but did not jog, and were mostly sedentary.
The analysis showed that light joggers were about 78 percent less likely to die over the 12-year study than those who were sedentary. "Light joggers" were defined as those who ran at a speed of about 5 mph (8 km/h) a few times a week, for less than 2.5 hours per week total. On the Other hand, subjects whom participated in strenuous running were just as likely to die over the study period as the subjects who were completely sedentary. Strenuous jogging is defined as running at a speed of 7 mph (11 km/h) for an average of more than 4 hours per week in total. Peter Schnohr, of the Copenhagen City Heart Study and Frederiksberg Hospital in Denmark, said in a statement. "If your goal is to decrease risk of death and improve life expectancy, jogging a few times a week at a moderate pace is a good strategy. Anything more is not just unnecessary, it may be harmful." Although this study does not aim to unnecessarily frighten people who enjoy more strenuous activity, it does conclude with relevant evidence that moderate amounts of jogging is linked with the best outcomes. Many other studies have previously reached similar conclusions that beyond a certain point of physical activity, more does not necessarily equal better.
One possible explanation for this can be that strenuous activity may have more harmful effects on the heart, such as, heart scarring. But it is important to note that, all studies conclude even small amounts of exercise are a form of preventative medicine and lead to better health and longer living.
*Source: news.discovery.com by Rachael Rettner, livescience.*