Run More and Live Longer

Run on the Baylor Bear Trail

At the end of a long work day, maybe the last thing you want to do is lace up your tennis shoes and go for a run, but it’s something you should definitely consider doing.

Now, I firmly believe that the best work out is the one you’ll do, meaning that running will do you no good if you won’t actually run. And different types of workout work well with different body types. You have to do what works for you.

But before you rule out running in favor of a Netflix marathon, you should consider the science behind running.

Running on the Baylor Bear Trail.

A study was recently published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, done by researchers from Iowa State University, the University of South Carolina, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and other institutions. These researchers turned to a huge database maintained at the Cooper Clinic and Cooper Institute in Dallas.

According to the New York Times, these researchers there have been collecting information about the health of tens of thousands of men and women visiting the clinic for a check-up for decades. “These adults, after completing extensive medical and fitness examinations, have filled out questionnaires about their exercise habits, including whether, how often and how speedily they ran,” reported Gretchen Reynolds.

“From this database, the researchers chose the records of 55,137 healthy men and women ages 18 to 100 who had visited the clinic at least 15 years before the start of the study. Of this group, 24 percent identified themselves as runners, although their typical mileage and pace varied widely. The researchers then checked death records for these adults. In the intervening 15 or so years, almost 3,500 had died, many from heart disease.”

Running on the Baylor Bear Trail.

What did they find? Runners had a 45% lower chance of dying from heart disease. In fact, runners gained about three years of life compared to the adults who never ran. 


That’s pretty motivating.

Running on the Baylor Bear Trail.

One of the best parts of this study was not just that runners live longer, but that it didn’t really matter how far they ran. Marathon runners did not fair better than those who ran a mile a day.

This is great news for me, because lately my knees have been bothering me and I’ve had to cut down on the mileage. Bummer. But at least I still know I’m getting the health benefits from running! Even if it’s a shorter run than I’d like.


So, even if you only run one mile at a 10 minutes pace, it’s worth it. Pause the episode, lace up your shoes, and get moving. Your health will thank you.