Going for a jog regularly may help you live longer, a new study from Denmark suggests.
The findings show that women who regularly jogged lived 5.6 years longer than women who didn't, and men who jogged lived 6.2 years longer than those who didn't.
Jogging for one to 2.5 hours per week at a slow or average pace seemed to deliver the greatest benefit, said study researcher Peter Schnohr, chief cardiologist of the Copenhagen City Heart Study.
"We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The good news is that you don't actually need to do that much to reap the benefits," Schnohr said in a statement.
In the study, Schnohr and his colleagues looked at the mortality rates of 1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers, and compared them with mortality rates of non-joggers in the study of 20,000 people. Participants answered questions about how much time they spent jogging each week, and rated their own perceptions of pace (defined as slow, average and fast).
The results showed that over 35 years, there were 10,158 deaths among the non-joggers, and 122 deaths among the joggers. That means the risk of dying over the course of the study was reduced by 44 percent for joggers, the researchers said.
Further, the researchers found that people who jogged less than one hour, and those more than 2.5 hours a week were more likely to die over the course of the study than those who jogged for between one and 2.5 hours.
"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," Schnohr said.
The ideal jogging pace can be achieved by striving to feel a little breathless. "You should aim to feel a little breathless, but not very breathless," Schnohr said.
The findings will be presented Saturday (May 5) at a European Society of Cardiology meeting in Dublin.
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