There are many reasons to jog. Jogging can help reduce body fat and build muscle. It can reduce stress by releasing endorphins. It could be a nice activity to do with a friend or a partner or a community. Also, it can just be fun.
But how much should one jog? What is the ideal amount of jogging? This depends on the reason why someone is jogging.
Is the person preparing for a marathon? Many marathon runners spend hours per week months ahead of the date of the event just to prepare for the run.
This article is aimed at those who already enjoy running or are curious about this physical activity and are considering it. The question that this article strives to answer is: what is the correlation between jogging and life expectancy? How could jogging improve longevity? After all, nothing could be called healthy if it won’t help someone live longer.
A study published in The Lancet in 2011 found links between jogging and longevity. It found that those who jogged for about an hour and a half a week had a reduced risk of mortality by 14% than the group that was sedentary. It also found that jogging could help those with cardiovascular disease.
It’s clear that those who were jogging in the aforementioned experiment were healthier than those who weren’t physically involved in the exercise, but what if we played with the variables? What about those who decide to jog for one hour a week instead of two or three hours? Those constantly preparing for a marathon would probably want to take this into consideration.
There is also speed. Are those running in the fast lane, dashing ahead of everyone else, going to live longer, thus having the length of their lives reflecting the superiority of their running speed? And what about those who choose to run once a week, or perhaps every day?
Also, there are other factors like wearing the best shoes for jogging, which could impact your feet or even prevent foot pain and injuries.
It turns out that less is more. This is what a Danish study conducted in 2015 found. Those who were jogging at low to moderate paces (about 5 miles per hour) turned out to live longer than those in the group who were running at speeds over 7 miles an hour.
It showed that those who jogged one time or less per week or two to three times per week had a lower multivariable hazard ratio than those who jogged more than that. In fact, those who jogged more than three times per week had identical statistics to those who had not jogged at all.
In regards to how many hours one should jog per week, the research showed that 1 to 2.4 hours showed the best results. Two and a half hours or more of jogging per week did not show an improvement of statistics to those who were sedentary.
Everyone has their own goals and ambitions when it comes to their diet and fitness routines. With jogging, it’s no different, whether one is aiming at gaining muscle or training for the New York City Marathon. It’s great to have goals and achieve them.
But for those who are concerned over their own health, they ought to consider the results that the research has suggested in regards to the correlation between the amount of jogging and longevity.
It appears, according to the aforementioned Danish research, that the best results came from the participants of the research who jogged one to three days per week and at low to moderate paces (around five miles an hour). The ideal length of time jogging per week proved to be 1 to 2.4 hours. Split evenly under the three-day weekly routine would entail 20 to 48 minutes per session or 30 to 72 minutes under the two-day weekly routine.
One final note to consider, though certainly not the least important, is that this study proves that strenuous jogging and long hours per week had adverse effects. This is counterintuitive, as it goes against the image of the strenuous workout being the better one. According to this research, it’s the milder one that gives more longevity. This can be seen as a good thing: it saves time, and seems more achievable, or at least, in the long run.
- Schnohr, Peter. O’Keefe, James H. Marott, Jacob L. Lange, Peter. Jensen, Gorm B. (10 February 2015). “Dose of Jogging and Long-Term Mortality: The Copenhagen City Heart Study”. Volume 65, Issue 5. Journal of the American College and Cardiology. Retrieved from: ScienceDirect
- Wen, Chi P. Wai, Jackson P. M. Tsai, Min K. Yang, Yi C. Cheng, Ting Y. D. Lee, Meng-Chih. Chan, Hui T. Tsao, Chwen K. Tsai, Shan P. Wu, Xifeng. (1-7 October 2011). “Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study”. Volume 378, Issue 9798. Pages 1244-1253. The Lancet. Retrieved from: ScienceDirect
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