If you are one of those people who look at the joggers from the window of your bedroom at five in the morning thinking that they are nuts, you might reconsider. The study in Denmark named Copenhagen City Heart Study found that men who regularly jog live 6.2 years longer, and women joggers 5.6 years longer. This is a very good reason indeed to strap your running shoes and hit the trails.
The original reason for the Copenhagen City Heart study was to find out if jogging, which is very popular in Denmark, is good for us or is a health hazard in average people. The results are clear: regular jogging prolongs life. And not too much jogging: one to two and half hours every week of slow or average speed jog will do.
But, that is not the only fact this very large study revealed. The study, which started in 1976 on about 20,000 people, offered scientists opportunity to produce more than 750 scientific papers. Among others, scientists found that moderate or high physical activity such as jogging decreases the mortality from cancer, heart disease and death from general causes. Jogging also prevents death from respiratory disease and stroke and improves a number of other conditions:
- Provides improved uptake of oxygen
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Increases sensitivity to insulin
- Improves heart function
- Increases bone density
- Reduces inflammation
- Prevents some cases of obesity
- Improves immune system functioning
Another study found that jogging and other high level physical activities lower the level of mental stress and general dissatisfaction with life.
If we have to pick one benefit light regular jogging gives us, it should probably be the better satisfaction with life. We can accept that exercising does great things for our bodies, but we seldom think that jogging makes us feel happier.