Regular jogging can increase how long you’re expected to live for by adding more than six years to a man’s life and five years to a woman’s, according to a press release from the European Society of Cardiology.

Dr Leon Creaney, Sport and Orthopaedic Physician at Bupa Musculoskeletal Centre, London commented, "This research is encouraging for all those joggers out there but it does come from unpublished research so we should be cautious until we see the data in full. We’ve known for a long time that exercise is great for our health so this recent press release is of little surprise. But, it's hugely promising because it suggests you don’t need to be a marathon runner or an elite athlete to gain these health benefits.

"It recommends that jogging between one and two and a half hours each week at a slow or average pace can help you live longer compared to non-joggers. This doesn’t mean you have to pound the pavements every day of the week – jogging on just two or three days each week is more than enough to achieve these all important extra years.

"Knowing what pace to jog at can be tricky to maintain. Try exercising at a pace when your breathing is faster, your heart rate is increased and you feel warmer. You should be able to hold a conversation. At this level of activity, your heart and lungs are being stimulated and this goes towards making you fitter.

"Jogging isn’t always for everyone so don’t be put off if you’re not a fan. We know that physical activity in general is good for our hearts, bones, and mind as well as keeping us in shape. Exercising regularly is the key so find something you enjoy and that you can do with others so you’re more likely to keep it up. This may be a spot of swimming, a gentle bike ride, finding your inner competitive edge by joining a sports club or getting out in the garden. If you’re concerned about how exercise might affect your health, see your doctor."

1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers were compared to non-joggers and were asked questions about their lifestyle, for example, how much time they spent jogging and what pace they jogged at. They were followed up over a maximum of 35 years and those people who died were recorded.

Key facts

Follow these top tips when jogging.

  • Always warm up and cool down to prepare your body for jogging and to prevent muscles soreness after.
  • Choose good, supportive running shoes to help prevent injury – go to your local running specialist shop for advice.
  • Gradually increase how far you jog, how long for and include enough recovery when you exercise.
  • Stay well hydrated when you’re jogging to replace the fluids you lose and to prevent fatigue.

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