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Running Can Reduce the Risk of Death—and You Don’t Even Have to Run That Far

You may not consider yourself much of a runner, and other physical activities are a lot more fun. Still, according to a study, there are undeniable health benefits associated with running. Most importantly, running is believed to reduce your risk of early death by up to almost 30 percent, and you don’t have to go to great distances to reap these benefits.

The research was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (via The Guardian) and found that running can reduce the risk of early death by any cause. “Any amount of running, even just once a week, is better than no running, but higher doses of running may not necessarily be associated with greater mortality benefits,” the study states, according to the publication.

Researchers looked at “14 previous studies based on six different groups of participants,” which included more than 230,000 people. These individuals were examined for several years (ranging from 5.5 to 35 years). The results indicated that running had a 27 percent lower risk of early death from any cause, 30 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and 23 percent less risk of dying from cancer.

Interestingly, the researchers did not find evidence which suggested that increased duration, paces, and frequency of running had anymore benefit. “It is interesting that we found such benefits even for relatively small amounts of running, such as one day a week or 50 minutes a week. Moreover, we found no evidence that the benefits significantly increase or decrease with higher doses of running,” lead study author Dr. Zeljko Pedisic, from Victoria University in Australia, told Healthline.

This means that running for less than the recommended guidelines can still reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. The NHS recommends physical activity for adults aged 19 to 64 involve a minimum of “150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week.”

[Image via Shutterstock]

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