A single hour of running adds seven hours to your life, a new study has found.
Scientists say running does more to extend lifespan than any other form of exercise – and could add up to three years.
And no matter how far or how fast you run, your risk of premature death could drop by 40 percent by taking up the activity.
That’s an even bigger reduction than you get from dieting and quitting smoking combined.
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The findings, published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, came from studies of more than 55,000 men and women aged 18 to 100 over 15 years.
Lead author Duck-chul Lee, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, said: “We found runners showed bigger significant reductions in mortality than people that are active in other types of exercise.”
Lee said running combats many of the common risk factors for early death, including high blood pressure and extra body fat, especially around the middle.
It also raises aerobic fitness, one of the best-known indicators of someone’s long-term health.
Improvements in life expectancy generally plateaued at about four hours of running per week, Lee said. But they did not decline.