Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Exercise acts as a bulwark against early death by bolstering the body’s defences, namely against cardiovascular disease – a major killer worldwide. Exercise provides numerous benefits for heart health; it will make your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient, for starters. Jogging is particularly beneficial and research has sought to identify the optimal pace and frequency.
A study published in the Journal investigated the association between jogging and long-term, all-cause mortality by focusing specifically on the effects of pace, quantity, and frequency of jogging.
The analysis was based on The Copenhagen City Heart study, which looked at healthy joggers and non-joggers for over a decade.
For the study, 1,098 healthy joggers and 3,950 healthy non-joggers were monitored.
Weekly quantity of jogging, frequency of jogging, and the subject’s own perception of pace was determined through surgery questions.
This data was compared with incidences of cardiovascular events over the course of the decade.
Researchers found the optimal running pace for reducing cardiovascular mortality was a pace of seven miles per hour.
They also found jogging six miles per week, including three running days per week, also reduced the risk.
“The findings suggest a U-shaped association between all-cause mortality and dose of jogging as calibrated by pace, quantity, and frequency of jogging,” the researchers concluded.
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The benefits of running
According to the NHS, regular running can reduce your risk of long-term illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.
If you are just getting started, it is important to make sure you are suitably prepared.
“Running requires little equipment, but a good pair of running shoes that suit your foot type may help improve comfort,” says the NHS.
According to the health body, there are many types of trainers on the market, so get advice from a specialist running retailer, who’ll assess your foot and find the right shoe for you.
“To avoid injury and enjoy the experience, it’s essential to ease yourself into running slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually over several outings,” it advises.
If running is not suitable for you, there are a host of other exercises that can boost your health.
Swimming is one such alternative.
“The buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move them more fluidly,” explains the Mayo Clinic.
“Swimming is good for individuals with arthritis because it’s less weight-bearing,” explained Dr I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Research has found that swimming can also improve your mental state and put you in a better mood.
Water aerobics is another option – these classes help you burn calories and tone up, adds Harvard Health.
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