There is a simple and free way to keep yourself in good physical shape while delaying the onset of old age and disease. This is a run which prolongs your longevity. You can run at a convenient time, early in the morning, or in the evening after work, along a convenient route – outside the city, in the nearest park or just along the street, for long and short distances, alone or in company, with or without a player, individually choosing frequency and intensity. Someone prefers intense running, and someone jogging.
The usefulness of moderate running is known, but sometimes you hear that it is overrated. At the same time, there is an opinion that this type of exercise is practically a universal remedy for cardiovascular diseases and other ailments.
So what is known about running today?
Running is an aerobic type of physical activity, that is, such a load in which oxygen is used as the main source of energy to maintain muscular motor activity. Exercises of this type (as opposed to anaerobic, such as sprinting at high speed or weight lifting) can be performed for a relatively long time.
Distinguish between regular running and jogging. Their effect on the body is similar, but regular running takes more effort, burns more calories, requires more tension of the heart, lungs, and muscles. Running involves a higher level of physical fitness than jogging. Therefore, it is recommended that novice runners switch from a quick walk to jogging, and only then if the state of health allows for normal running.
Jogging is a run at a speed of 7-9 kilometers per hour with a shorter phase of flight than with a fast run: as soon as one leg pushes off the ground and the period of unsupported state begins, the second leg immediately drops to the ground. Since when jogging, compared to regular jogging, the load on the joints is reduced and the risk of injuries is reduced, so people of any age can run this way without sports training.
As a form of physical activity, running is well studied by medical science.
Running slows down ageing
Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine have been observing 538 runners for 20 years who, in old age, have shown longer activity and a longer lifespan than their non-running peers.
When a research team led by physician James Fries began his research in 1984, some of the scientists feared that intense physical activity could harm the health of older subjects. Jogging, in their opinion, could lead to orthopedic injuries. Fries had another hypothesis. He believed that regular running would help prolong an active life without ailments that impose serious restrictions.
At the very beginning of the study, the participants were 50+ years old. After 19 years, 34% of the subjects died in the control group, while only 15% died in the runner group.
At the age of 50+, active study participants ran an average of 4 hours per week. After 21 years, this time was reduced to 76 minutes a week, but runners continued to experience the positive effects of running. They remained in much better physical shape than passive subjects. On average, disability due to old age for runners occurred 16 years later than for non-runners.
In addition, the gap in the ability to care for oneself and lead a relatively active lifestyle between runners and non-runners continued to widen and was especially noticeable after the age of 80 of their lives. At the same time, to the surprise of scientists, the runners not only showed a much better state of the cardiovascular system but also died less often from cancer, neurological and even infectious diseases.
In addition to the main study, Fries and his colleagues published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in August 2008 data demonstrating that runners suffer from osteoarthritis no more often than their physically inactive peers.
Regular jogging increases life expectancy
Danish cardiologists have found that regular jogging increases life expectancy by more than five years. Such data were obtained during a study conducted by a group of scientists led by Peter Schnohr from the University of Copenhagen.
To participate in the study, which began in 1976, more than 20 thousand men and women aged 20 to 93 years were selected. The authors of the scientific work wanted to evaluate the influence of various risk factors for myocardial infarction and stroke, as well as ways to prevent these ailments.
Almost two thousand participants regularly jogged. The risk of death in this group was 44 percent lower than among those who did not run. In addition, compared with the main group, the expected life expectancy of male runners was more by 6.2 years, and that of women by 5.6 years.
As the researchers emphasize, jogging at a moderate pace is most useful. It injures joints less, but at the same time no worse than intense running saturates the body with oxygen. This increases the level of “good” cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, improves heart function, increases bone density, strengthens the immune system and prevents obesity.
To prevent cardiovascular disease, Danish doctors recommend running at a low or medium pace two to three times a week. In this case, the total duration of runs should be from one to two and a half hours.
Benefits of Jogging
So, what can be achieved with moderate running, according to medical experts?
Firstly, moral satisfaction and good mood, which occurs after the release of endorphins into the blood. Exercise in the fresh air increases your ability to intellectual activity, improve memory.
Secondly, burning calories, which in turn will optimize body weight, especially if you reinforce jogging with a healthy eating program. Keep in mind that overeating cannot be compensated for by running.
Third, the development of endurance and muscle strength. The more you run, the easier it is for you to run and other physical activities.
Fourth, running is recommended to lower triglycerides, high blood pressure, and sugar.
Fifth, it leads to the improvement of the cardiovascular system.
How to run correctly and safely
If you decide to go jogging, follow these rules:
- Consult with your doctor, discuss a plan for phasing in loads. This is especially important for those who have had leg injuries in the past.
- Start jogging with fast walking, for about 30 minutes in one workout. Each time, reduce walking time and increase jogging time.
- Without special sports training, do not run long distances of tens of kilometers.
- Especially zealous novice runners often faint. Do not exceed the capabilities of your own body, at the first signals of overwork, take a break. Just in case, take a mobile phone with you.
- Take at least 2 days a week to rest from running to avoid overload. Another day can be devoted to swimming or other less intense than jogging physical exercises.
- Carry a bottle of water and take a few sips every 15-20 minutes.
- Breathe rhythmically. Synchronize your breathing rhythm with your running speed.
- Do some stretching and warm-up exercises before and after running. It is better to start with walking, gradually increasing speed, moving to jog, slowing the pace by the end of the workout and ending with walking again.
- Find comfortable running shoes with spring soles.
- Avoid running in the heat. In the summer, plan your jogs at cooler times of the day.
- Do not eat immediately before jogging.
- It is best to run outside the city, in forest-park or park areas, where the air is cleaner. If this is difficult to organize, then try to run early in the morning or, in extreme cases, late in the evening (along the illuminated safe route), when the exhaust gases are somewhat dispersed.
Remember that it will be especially difficult in the first 2 weeks, and then running will become easier, delivering more and more pleasure.