According to a study from Stanford University School of Medicine regular running slows the effects of aging. This study tracked 538 runners over age 50 and compared them to a similar group of nonrunners. Over a 20 year span the participants (now in their 70s and 80s) answered annual questionnaires about their ability to perform everyday activities such as walking, getting out of a chair and gripping objects. They found that:
- Although both groups became more disabled with age, the runner’s onset of disability came 16 years later than nonrunners.
- 34% of the nonrunning group had died, compared to only 15% of the runners.
- The effect of running slowed cardiovascular deaths, and is associated with fewer early deaths from cancer, neurological disease, infections and many other causes.
- Running was not associated with greater rates of osteoarthritis in these elderly runners. And runners also did not require more total knee replacements than nonrunners.
- Proven health benefits of running are associated with a greater lean body mass and healthier habits in general.
This means the work you’re putting in today may have a huge impact on your future health!