LAZY PEOPLE, rejoice. Despite all the facts that point towards exercise being the best thing ever, a new study is suggesting that, like all good things in life, moderation is key when it comes to getting your sweat on. More specifically, fast running is as likely to kill you as not working out at all is, but that jogging at a moderate pace, or even taking a leisurely walk, is the exercise plan that is going to extend your life.
The study began by evaluating over 5,000 people as a part of the Copenhagen City Heart Study. The researchers involved with the study chose a little over 1,000 healthy joggers and 413 healthy yet decidedly sedentary people to follow over a twelve-year period, keeping close track of their fitness habits and overall health. The researchers found that the group of people who ran for more than four hours a week were as likely to kick the bucket as the people who never even got off the couch. And the people who sort of half-assed their workouts by jogging slowly only three days a week were the group who came out on top in terms of life longevity.
Okay. Researchers are not entirely certain why this happens, but suggest that it has something to do with the pressures on the heart that get exerted when you run too much or at elevated speeds. When strenuous exercise is practiced regularly in the long-term, research suggests that changes might even occur to the heart and arteries and the supporting structures linking the two.
Personally, we’ve always said marathons are re a terrible idea because people drop dead, lose control of their body functions, and basically beat themselves to a pulp, so this proof that running too much is terrible and detrimental to your health isn’t entirely surprising. Also, we told you so.
Says Dr. Peter Schnohr, who was a part of the study published in the journal American College of Cardiology:
“If your goal is to decrease risk of death and improve life expectancy, jogging a few times a week at a moderate pace is a good strategy. Anything more is not just unnecessary, it may be harmful.”
This study should be taken with a grain of salt because it obviously does not mean that you should skip exercise altogether. What you should do, however, is keep it regular but moderate. One hour of jogging a week supposedly can add six years to your life, and getting your sweat on in your leisure time can add four-and-a-half years. Capping your jogging pace at a cool 5 mph is suggested to avoid over doing it for the sake of your heart… but no promises on what it’s going to do for your waistline.