Runners Live Longer and Retain Function
A debate in fad fitness is if you need aerobic activity to lose weight, or if weightlifting is sufficient. The larger issue is that you need to use your cardiovascular system for health.
A 21 year long study from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that older runners live longer and suffer fewer disabilities than healthy non-runners.
All 440 study participants were 50 years old or over at the beginning of the study. All ran an average of four hours a week. By the end of the study, all were in their 70s, 80s, and older, running an average of 76 minutes a week.
At the 19 year mark in the study, 34 percent of the non-runners had died, compared with 15 percent of the runners. Onset of disability was delayed in runners by an average of 16 years.
Lead study author, Dr. James Fries, is almost 70, runs 20 miles a week and plays tennis. He stated the positive numbers for runners was not even as high as compared to average populations, because "the control group was pretty darn healthy." The "health gap" between runners and non-runners increased with age. Fries said, "I always thought that the two curves would start to parallel each other and that eventually aging would overpower exercise. We can't find even a little twitch toward that gap narrowing in the present time."
Study authors also stated that, "The findings probably apply to a variety of aerobic exercises, including walking."
Conventional medical texts originally stressed that exercise would harm elders. That viewpoint led to disastrous decades of needless infirmities among people who could have retained mobility and independence.
In 1980, Dr. Fries wrote a landmark paper of his "compression of morbidity" hypothesis, that "regular exercise would compress, or reduce, the amount of time near the end of life when a person was disabled or unable to carry out the activities of daily living, such as walking, dressing and getting out of a chair."
Stay active, keep moving whatever your age. It is the most important medicine you have.
- What is "Fitness as a Lifestyle?"
- Exercise and Aging - Don't Limit the Patient to Limit the Pain
- Are You Stronger Than A 67 Year Old Lady?
- Pearl is 97
- Farm Work, Lifestyle Exercise, and Preventing Overuse Pain
- Parcours - Old Fun Is New Exercise
- Married 63 Years With Good Balance
Read and contribute your own success stories of these methods. Before asking questions, see if your answers are already here - click labels under posts, links in posts, archives at right, and the Fitness Fixer Index. Subscribe to The Fitness Fixer, free. Click "updates via e-mail" (under trumpet) upper right.
For answers to personal medical questions - Replies to Medical Questions. Limited Class spaces for personal evaluation. Top students may apply to certify through DrBookspan.com/Academy. See Dr. Bookspan's Books.
Recent Blog Posts
Mar 09, 2010
New Healthy Employment Programs for Developmentally Disabled
Mar 04, 2010
Reader Uses Fitness Fixer Advice to Shovel Snow Painlessly and Beat Mother Nature
Mar 01, 2010
Lactic Acid Myths