Bright Side

Every Hour of Running Helps You Earn 7 Hours of Life, According to Science


The oldest marathon finisher, Fauja Singh, was 101 years old when he finished a 6.25-mile run in 1 hour and 32 minutes! Running doesn’t only help you lose unwanted weight and get you in better shape, but it can also add more years to your life. There are some people who love doing it, but even if you’re one of those who really, really doesn’t — you still should, because the benefits it carries are incredible.

Bright Side is all about a healthy and active lifestyle, so this is why we want to explain why running is so good for us.

Running can prolong your life.

A study done 6 years ago showed that people who ran as little as 5 minutes a day still had a prolonged life and it was also proven that it is the only exercise that reduces the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and all other causes.

In that research, it was proven that runners had 30% and 45% lower adjusted risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, respectively, as well as a 3-year life expectancy benefit. It was also proven that one hour of running a day, equals 7 more hours added to our lives.

However, if you are wondering if other forms of exercise, such as walking or biking, have the same effects on us and our life span, the researchers have got you covered. 3 years later they did a follow-up study, answering precisely that question.

Running reduces the risk of life-threatening events.

Overall, the new research reinforced the findings of the research before it. The data indicated that running, no matter the pace or mileage, reduced a person's risk of premature death by almost 40%. Using those numbers, the scientists determined that if every non-runner, who partook in the study, took up the sport, there would have been 16 percent fewer deaths overall, and 25% fewer fatal heart attacks.

A very interesting thing the researchers discovered was that running returns more time to people's lives than it consumes. The data showed that a typical runner would spend less than 6 months running over the course of almost 40 years, but could expect an increase in their life span by 3.2 years.

To sum it up, running one hour a day statistically lengthens your life expectancy by 7 hours, according to the scientists who conducted the research.

The study also revealed that walking and biking are connected to a longer life span, but it wasn't to the same degree as running. And they also discovered that running more than you should every day is not bad, but also not really necessary, as it didn't further increase your life span.

Running should be combined with a healthy lifestyle.

However, it is important to note that the findings in this research are associational, meaning that the people who run are people who tend to live longer, not that running directly causes a longer life span. It does help greatly, though.

Exercising has to be taken seriously because, according to a medical study published in The Lancet, inactivity is very dangerous as it causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide. Of course, being active in itself isn't enough for a truly healthy and long life, people who also eat right will reap the most benefits.

BONUS: Here are some great examples of how running changes lives.


Running changed this woman’s life. She went from 313 lbs to 135 lbs.


243 lbs to 145 lbs. The picture on the left is her doing her first 5k marathon, which took her 37 minutes and on the right, this is her 17 months later, completing a 21k marathon in 1 hour and 51 minutes.

Are you going to try to include running more into your lifestyle after reading this article? Share it with us and let's all motivate each other together!

Preview photo credit caralynnmoccia / reddit