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Improve Health and Live Longer by Jogging: Study

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jogging improves health and helps you live longer iStockphoto/Thinkstock

I’ve always been a believer in moderation. In fact, you could even say it’s somewhat natural for me to avoid anything too extreme.

That’s why I’m a fan of jogging. Oftentimes, I find myself with my running gear on, and my shoes laced up and ready to go, only to realize that I can’t recall where I put my motivation.

So, my planned run will start out as a warm-up walk, and evolve into a slow, steady jog until I’m ready to head home.

Luckily, new research shows that this is nothing to feel guilty about. The Copenhagen City Heart study confirms that joggers not only receive a myriad of health benefits, but also live longer than non-joggers!

The Copenhagen City Heart study began in 1976, when jogging became a popular pastime, and involved 20,000 men and women between the ages of 20 and 93.

With a follow-up period of up to 35 years, and a wide range of data collected, there were 10,158 deaths registered among the non-joggers, compared to 122 deaths among the joggers.

According to the study, analysis shows that male and female joggers had a 44 percent reduced risk of death, which provides an increased life-span of about 6.2 years for men and 5.6 years for women.

Schnohr, chief cardiologist of the Copenhagen City Heart Study, explained, "The relationship appears much like alcohol intakes. Mortality is lower in people reporting moderate jogging, than in non-joggers or those undertaking extreme levels of exercise."

How to get the best results?

Jogging at a slow to average pace between one and two and a half hours over a period of two to three sessions was shown to provide optimal results.

The ideal pace should leave you feeling slightly, but not completely, breathless.

Health benefits of jogging go beyond increasing life span. Jogging is easier on your body than running and still provides both physical and psychological health benefits.

These benefits include improving oxygen intake, lowering blood pressure, improving cardiac function and psychological health. Other advantages are bone density, immune function, reduction of inflammation markers, and prevention of obesity among other benefits.

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