10 Amazing and Evidence-Supported Health Benefits of Running
Running can give you a longer life, better sleep, enhanced immunity, improved moods, and more—it’s even good for your knees and lower back.
When you become a runner, it changes your life, in more ways than you may know. Here’s evidence of the amazing benefits running can give you:
Benefit 1. Running adds years to your life and life to your years.
Numerous studies have shown that running increases lifespan. This has led to the oft-repeated observation: “If exercise were a pill, it would be the most popular pill in the world.” Worth noting: It would also be the least expensive, with little to no cost.
A 2018 meta-analysis of research on running and longevity found that runners have about a 25 to 30 percent lower rate of all-cause mortality on follow-up than non runners. It concluded: “Any amount of running, even once a week, is better than no running.”
Another runner-specific paper showed that runners gain about three years of extra life. Why? Some of the biological pathways include: greater cardiovascular fitness, better body composition (less fat), lower cholesterol, excellent glucose and insulin control, stronger bones, better hormone regulation, and positive neurological functioning.
Few of us, however, simply want to live longer. Rather, we hope for a long, productive, healthy, active life. That’s where running and high-fitness shine. Since “seniors” consume a high percent of the public-health budget with their late-life illnesses, much research is targeted at what can be done to keep them healthy. Exercise nearly always wins this race.