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Why elderly joggers just keep on running
The research, in the US journal Archives of Internal Medicine
California Couch potatoes might not like to hear it, but running regularly has long-term health benefits that last well into old age, according to a study.
Elderly joggers remained fit and active for longer than non-runners and were half as likely to die early, scientists at the University of California at Stanford found. They were also less likely to succumb to age-related illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders.
The study began in 1984, when many experts feared that jogging might do more harm than good, especially to elderly runners, for whom it was thought to raise the risk of arthritis and orthopaedic injuries.
The research, in the US journal Archives of Internal Medicine, indicates, however, that runners had longer, healthier lives.
James Fries and colleagues compared the progress of 284 members of a nationwide running club with 156 healthy but non-running people. All participants were aged 50 or older at the start of the study. Nineteen years into the study, 34 per cent of the non-runners had died, compared with only 15 per cent of the runners.
From Times Online, www.timesonline.co.uk,
August 12, 2008 on