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Fit Bit / Runners have a 30 percent lower risk of death and are 45 percent less likely to die from heart disease or stroke. / MCT


Avoid weight gain associated with stress eating in college. Running takes nothing more than open space, a pair of sneakers and willpower.

By Jenn Savedge / MCT Campus

Runners, sprinters, walkers, and joggers: There’s good news for you. A new study has found that running can add years to your life, and it doesn’t matter how far or how fast you go.

All you have to do is lace up your sneakers and go.

The study, published in the recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, involved more than 55,000 adults aged 18 to 100, who were followed during a 15-year period to determine whether there is a relationship between running and long life.

About 25 percent of the participants were runners. Within the study period, 3,413 participants died, including 1,217 whose deaths were related to cardiovascular disease.

Researchers found that the runners, when compared with the non-runners in the study, had a 30 percent lower risk of death in general and a 45 percent lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke.

Runners lived an average of three years longer than their non-running peers. Participants who ran consistently had the most significant health benefits, including a 29 percent lower risk of death in general and a 50 percent lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke.

The best part? The benefits were the same no matter how far or fast the participants ran.

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Ultra marathoners saw the same health benefits as those who ran a lap or two around the block.

Same goes for sprinters and back-of-the-packers. In fact, running a minimum of 30 to 59 minutes each week — that adds up to just 5 to 10 minutes a day at a pace of less than 6 miles per hour (that’s a 10-minute mile) — was associated with the same health benefits.


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