Running is the key to fighting ageing, say scientists
Running regularly is the key to slowing the effects of ageing, say US researchers.
Forget anti-ageing lotions and potions, after an American study has proved that older joggers were half as likely to die prematurely from conditions like cancer than those who do not run.
Runners experienced a healthier lifestyle generally and suffered fewer disabilities, a team at Stanford University found.
Medical experts said the study confirmed the belief that older people should exercise regularly.
The study followed 500 older runners across a 20-year period, compared to a group of non-runners. Both groups were in their fifties when the study began.
Nineteen years on and 34% of the non-runners had died, compared to just 15% of those running regularly.
Both groups lost mobility over time, however the onset of disability for the runners started an average of 16 years later.
The study found that running appeared to slow the rate of heart and artery related deaths, but was also linked to fewer early deaths from cancer, neurological disease and infections.
The beginning of the study saw runners exercise for about four hours a week. After 21 years, the runners exercise regime was reduced to just over an hour, but runners were still seeing health benefits.
Professor James Fries, who led the study commented: ‘The study has a very pro-exercise message. If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise.’
He added: ‘The health benefits of exercise are greater than we thought.’