Short jogs linked to lower heart disease risk

Running, in any form, is good for you. Even a light jog can help lower heart disease and cardiovascular risk, according to a new study from Iowa State University published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

More than 55,000 healthy adults ages 18 to 100 participated in a university study by answering a series of questions regarding exercise habits over the previous three months. The questions covered speed, duration and frequency.

For people who did run, they were categorized into five groups based on frequency. The participants were followed for 15 years by the researchers using medical records. Around 3,400 participants died during that time, with 1,200 dying from cardiovascular complications.

Overall, runners were 30 percent less likely to die during the study period and 45 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared to people who did not run at all. This proved to be true even for people who ran for less than an hour or less than six miles per week. Runners increased their life expectancy by three years, on average, compared to non-runners and exhibited better health regardless of age, gender, smoking or weight.

These results are encouraging for people who hit the pavement and suggest that a person doesn't have to run at great speed or for long distances to help their health.

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