Harvard Men's Health Watch

Light jogging linked to longer life

Compared with not running at all, jogging even five to 10 minutes a day may be enough exercise to extend life, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study focused on more than 55,000 men and women ages 18 to 100. About a quarter of them were runners. Over 15 years, those who ran up to 50 minutes a week at a moderate pace were less likely to die from either cardiovascular disease (such as heart attack or stroke) or any other cause.

The study suggests a relatively low minimum daily "dose" of jogging to boost longevity, although people who run more than 10 minutes a day may enjoy a greater benefit. A 2013 study in Denmark suggested that the "sweet spot" for maximum longevity is 1 to 2.4 hours of running a week.

Although running can trim away some of your existing risk of cardiovascular disease, it doesn't entirely eliminate it. The combined effects of lifestyle, diet, and family history still contribute to your lifetime risk.

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