I am a runner. Not an especially fast runner but I do enjoy it. A lot! So colour me happy when I came across an article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology saying that running is super good for your heart! Several exercise science labs in the US (South Carolina, Iowa and Louisiana) got together to look at how running impacts on mortality (that is, death) in runners of all ages - 18 to 100 years old. This forms a part of a massive study of adults that these guys are following for many, many years to see if they get sick, with what and what may have contributed to that. The study participants got a real close once over by a doctor, and lots of questions to look at their lifestyle habits.
When compared to the 'non-runners', runners were around 30% less likely to have died from any cause and more specifically, from cardiovascular disease (heart disease and it's close relations). This worked out to be about a 3 year bonus on longevity. Imagine what you could get done in 3 years? The more you ran, the better you did. But don't think you have to sprint faster than Usain Bolt or take on Paula Radcliffe. Even slower paces of less than 6 miles/hour were beneficial. So shuffle away.
So tomorrow morning, I will be dragging my backside out of bed for a lovely run. Can't wait!
Lee D et al. Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 214;64(4):472-81