Running as a competitive sport dates back to before the Olympic games. In recent years, running’s popularity has spawned things like fun runs, local races and running apps. Minimalist running shoes and talk of “runner’s high” have soared. Recent science suggests that the so-called high may be indicative of a more long-term effect: that of a lengthened life.
As you may have heard, exercise is good for you. It can improve mental health, stave off cognitive decline, boost your sex life, and make you more creative. By making you healthier, exercise helps add years to lifespan — and it improves health span as well, meaning that fit people stay “physically younger” and more capable during those years. But which sports are the best ones for keeping you young or for preventing an early death?
Even fairly low levels of physical activity can translate into longer life expectancy, says a new study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Using data from more than 650,000 people, mostly over age 40, researchers found that people who participated in leisure-time physical activity added as much as 4.5 years to their lives.