A shocking new study finds that while ‘slow’ runners staying under 2.5 hours a week reduce their risk of early death by 78 percent, those who run more than four hours per week at faster paces face similar health risks to inactive people.
You probably just read that paragraph again in shock. So, running more than 4 hours every week at a pretty intense pace is bad for you?
That is the findings of the Danish study published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“If your goal is to decrease risk of death and improve life expectancy, jogging a few times a week at a moderate pace is a good strategy," the study’s lead author, Dr. Peter Schnohr, says. "Anything more is not just unnecessary, it may be harmful."
"It's been known that running more than 30 miles week puts you at higher risk of injuries including stress fractures and tendonitis," Dr. Warren Young, a sports sports medicine expert at NYU-Langone Medical Center who was not involved in the study told New York Daily News. "Excess amounts of running can cause cardiac issues."
So if you’re training for that marathon, take note. The study authors warn against training yearly for marathons to stay healthy. While there are other noteworthy benefits to running—including mental, spiritual and endurance-building—running doesn’t, and based on this research, probably shouldn’t be your primary physical activity.
Walking, on the other hand, about 5 miles a day, has incredibly healthy benefits for the body and can also impart the “spiritual” benefits runners enjoy. Not only is walking better on the joints, it can be just as effective in keeping with your fitness goals. But if you’re not ready to give up on running just yet, make sure you pace yourself and do it in combination with other activities. And keep it under 2.5 hours per week for optimal results.
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