This article originally appeared on Time.com.
Running is a simple and efficient way to exercise: all you need is a pair of shoes. It’s been shown to lower a person’s risk for heart disease and cancer, possibly by regulating weight and blood pressure. Now a recent study, published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease last month, reports that people who run tend to live about three years longer than those who don’t.
The researchers, who have studied the benefits of running in the past, decided to look at available research and investigate whether other forms of exercise like walking and biking provide the same benefits, or if runners have a special advantage.
The study’s authors found that while other types of exercise like walking and cycling were linked to a longer lifespan, it wasn’t to the same degree as running. The researchers calculated that a one-hour run may translate to an additional seven hours added to a person’s life. The benefits capped out at about three years, and the researchers found that the improvements in life expectancy leveled out at about four hours of running per week. More running wasn’t found to be significantly worse for a person, but the researchers say there are no further apparent longevity benefits.
RELATED: 7 Surprising Facts About Running
However, the researchers only found an associational relationship between running and longevity. Their data showed that people who run tend to live longer lives, but not that running specifically increases a person’s lifespan. Runners tend to have other healthy lifestyle behaviors like maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and only drinking low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol, the authors note. Still, the findings suggest running is an especially effective form of exercise.
RELATED: 7 Running Injuries and How to Avoid Them
The study also found that runners who also do other types of physical activity have the same lower risk of early death, though combining running with other exercise is “the best choice,” the researchers write. (Federal guidelines recommend both aerobic exercise, like running, and strength training for optimal health.) They also acknowledge that it’s not yet clear how much running is safe, or if a person can run too much.
“Running may have the most public health benefits, but is not the best exercise for everyone since orthopedic or other medical conditions can restrict its use by many individuals,” the authors concluded.
The information herein on "One Run May Add 7 Hours to Your Life, Study Says" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card