A new Danish study says that jogging is definitely good for health but in moderation. The researchers have found that slow joggers remain healthier than those who prefer long, heart pounding run. The study has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The team of Danish researchers has revealed that a jogging speed of 5 mph for 1 to 1.4 hours per week, over 2 to 3 days, is best for maintaining sound health and gaining longevity.
Lead study author Dr. Peter Schnohr of Copenhagen’s Frederiksberg Hospital and his colleagues wrote “Long-term excessive exercise may be associated with coronary artery calcification, diastolic dysfunction and large artery wall stiffening.” They added “To our knowledge, there has been no study of the longevity of marathon, half-marathon or triathlon participants, but such studies would clearly be informative.”
For the study, the researchers followed 1,098 healthy joggers and 3,950 non-joggers for around 12 years. After 12 years it was found that 28 of the joggers and 128 of the non-joggers had died. The authors mentioned “Although joggers as a group appear to live longer than sedentary non-joggers, light joggers and moderate joggers have lower mortality rates than sedentary non-joggers.” It was also found that those who spend most of the time on the couch and those who run faster than 7 mph for more than four hours a week; or who run faster than 7 mph for more than 2.5 hours a week with a frequency of more than three times a week share the same mortality rate.
According to the study authors, to reduce mortality, it is best to jog 1 to 1.4 hours per week, including not more than three running days per week and the pace should be slow or average. However, the researchers also commented that more investigations are needed to evaluate this further. An editorial accompanied the research paper and according to it the study has several limitations. The participants of the study were white men and women from Copenhagen between the ages of 20 and 93 years. The editorial’s lead author, Duck-Chul Lee, an Iowa State University kinesiologist, and his colleagues also stated that other forms of physical exercise, apart from running, were not considered for the study.