In a study published today in the American Medical Association's Archive of Internal Medicine, Stanford researchers said that over a 19 year period, runners died at less than half the rate of non-runners Wow, if that isn't a case for regular aerobic exercise (be it running, swimming, biking, whatever), I don't know what is!
The study began in 1984 with 538 runners over age 50 and a healthy "control" group of 423 non-runners from Northern California. Annual surveys were completed by participants. After 19 years, 15% of the runners had died compared to 34% of the non-runners. Hmmm, could that be why my wife wants me to stop running and set up a life insurance policy...hmmm.
At the end of the study, the runner group had a 40% reduced chance of being moderately disabled or of dying as compared to the non-runner group.
The runner group exercised as much as 200 minutes per week versus only 20 minutes for the non-runner group. It obviously pays to exercise, so go on, get out there and start training! How about one of these upcoming local 5K fun runs as a goal!
One last point. The study indicated that 284 runners and 156 non-runners completed the entire 21 year study. So of those that lived through the entire study, this implies that 62% of the runners and 56% of the non-runners completed the entire survey. To me this says that runners not only live longer and healthier, but are more reliable survey takers.
(Disclosure: Conejo Joe is a runner if you couldn't already figure that out.)