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Slow Jogging Just A Few Times A Week Can Add Years To Your Life

You know that relatively little exercise is needed to get you fit, and now a new study suggests just an hour to two-and-a-half hours per week of even slow or moderate jogging (which amounts to 15 minutes a day) could help you live five or more years longer.

Photo by Ed Yourdon

The Copenhagen City Heart study collected data between 1976 and 2003 for around 2000 men and women joggers. Researchers compared the joggers’ death rates against non-joggers, using a database of over 20,000 Copenhagen residents between the ages of 20 and 93.

They found that an hour to two-and-a-half hours of jogging per week was linked to longer life expectancy: 6.2 years for men and 5.6 years for women. Even better, the biggest benefits were shown for slow or average pace jogging (emphasis ours):

The investigators found that between one hour and two and a half hours a week, undertaken over two to three sessions, delivered the optimum benefits, especially when performed at a slow or average pace.

“The relationship appears much like alcohol intakes. Mortality is lower in people reporting moderate jogging, than in non-joggers or those undertaking extreme levels of exercise,” said Schnohr. The ideal pace can be achieved by striving to feel a little breathless. “You should aim to feel a little breathless, but not very breathless,” he advised.

Big benefits with little time commitment and you don’t need to push yourself too hard? Even more reason to put those running shoes on.

Regular jogging shows dramatic increase in life expectancy [European Society of Cardiology via The Atlantic]