New York: Running on a regular basis can slow the effects of aging, according to a 21-year study.
Elderly runners lead longer, healthier lives than their non-jogging peers, say researchers from Stanford University who followed 538 members of a US running club and 423 healthy non-runners, starting in 1984.
They found that runners aged 50 and older had less heart disease and staved off physical disability an average of 16 years longer.
The study, published in the latest Archives of Internal Medicine, adds to previous research that has shown a link between exercise and improved health.
Physical activity that makes the heart and lungs work harder may be even more crucial to well-being and longevity, researchers said.
“We’ve all come to know that exercise is good for you and the bottom line is it’s even better than we thought,” emeritus professor James Fries, 69, at the Stanford School of Medicine, the study’s lead author and himself a runner, said yesterday. If you have to pick a key thing that makes people healthier as they age, it’s aerobic exercise.”