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Run For Your Life!

runing-from-death.jpgYou’ve heard that noted running author Jim Fixx died of a heart attack. So why bother running if you’re going to drop dead anyway? What you probably haven’t heard is that Fixx ate a diet very high in saturated fat. He believed it had no effective on heart health. Back in the 1980s when Fixx died, that was commonly believed. His arteries were completely clogged.

 

His running probably kept him alive for years. A new study presented at an international forum for preventive cardiology, EurPRevent 2012, provides the academic research to support this.

 

The Copenhagen City Heart Study

The study, called the Copenhagen City Heart Study, involved approximately 20,000 subjects, men and women aged twenty to ninety-three, over a period of about thirty-five years. Some were runners and some were not. The researchers found that the runners were forty-four per cent less likely to die than the non-runners. The subject who showed the healthiest and longest lives ran a total of one to two and a half hours each week, broken up into two or three times per week. On average, the men runners lived six years longer than the non-running men. The women runners outlived their non-running counterparts by about five and a half years.

 

According to Dr. Peter Schohr, the cardiologist who ran the study, the study demonstrates that moderately-fast running is not only beneficial for health, but actually statistically lengthens individual lives in populations. Additional benefits of running cited by Dr. Schnohr in his comments on the study are reduced inflammation and platelet aggregation, increased insulin sensitivity, oxygen intake, bone density, immunity, and body weight control, decreased blood pressure and cholesterol, and better heart and psychological function.

 

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