Do you want to live longer? Run

It is said that if you want to see what your face will look like in 10 years just take a selfie after running a marathon. It is also true that runners-especially those who run a lot-are exposed to the sun and weather for longer and are therefore less likely to have facial skin like that of a child. All this is to say that those who run consistently and for a long time generally do not show less years than they have, but skin and appearance are not everything, are they? Psychophysical state counts, and science today confirms that runners live longer.

Are you talking about yet another research? Yes I am.

The magazine Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases published the outcomes of a study that compiles the results of many large-scale studies showing that running not only helps us live longer but, more importantly, is the most effective among sports in ensuring that we live healthy, prosperous and … long lives. Or at least longer than a sedentary lifestyle pattern without practicing any activity.

How is life measured in the first place? Well, it can be evaluated from at least two perspectives: that of actual, measurable duration (i.e., that which has a term, which, alas, is death) and that which enjoys the benefit of a lengthening attributable to virtuous or at least active conduct. In short: you can live longer mainly because you lower your chances of dying earlier. How? well, we’ve already said it: with exercise and especially with running.

Okay, but how much longer would you live? Let’s say that, more than living longer, running will considerably lower the chances of dying before your time, in the range of 30-45%. It means that by playing sports (and running, especially!) you are 30-45% less likely to die prematurely.

Aren’t the numbers enough for you? We have more

According to this estimate, those who run live at least 3 years longer than those who are sedentary, and each hour of running gives you seven more hours of life.

It is not only running that gives you these benefits: other sports do it too but to a lesser extent. Running is then one of the cheapest sports: you just need a pair of shoes and the right apparel and you’re done. Its blessings, in case you are interested, are not limited only to you but expand to the whole society: a healthier population means a lower burden on the health care system and the labor system, which is not subject to the psychophysical state of those in it.

Woody Allen

The fact that running makes one live longer brings to mind a line from Allen:

I quit smoking. I’ll live one week longer and that week it’ll rain all the time.

And it makes you think especially because for as long as you have extra time to live on this planet, you won’t care whether it rains or not: runners, in the end, don’t let bad weather stop them.

(Main image credits: Sergey Nivens on – via GQ)


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