Running May Slow Aging Process

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We’ve all heart that running is good for you. But can running turn back the clock? Researchers at the Stanford University of Medicine found that running regularly slows the effects of aging.

Their study tracked 500 older runners for a period of more than 20 years. They determined that older runners have fewer disabilities, a longer life span and are half as likely to die early deaths as non-runners.

Using 528 runners over age 50, they compared them to a similar group of non-runners. With the runners now being in their 70s and 80s, they answered yearly questionnaires about their daily activities and their ability to perform them. Researchers also used national death records to determine which participants had died and why. The research showed that 34 percent of the non-runners had died, compared to 15 percent of the runners.

With these participants running about 4 hours per week at the beginning of the study, it was found that running delayed disability. The results achieved by this study were more dramatic than the scientists expected.

“The study has a very pro-exercise message,” said James Fries, MD, an emeritus professor of medicine at the medical school and the study’s senior author. “If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise.”

The new findings appear in the Aug. 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Source: Stanford Press Release

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