Running for 1 Hour a Day Makes You Live Longer

Besides being relaxing, running also improves blood circulation throughout your body, leading to whole-body benefits.
Running for 1 Hour a Day Makes You Live Longer

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Exercising is so, so good for you. That’s simply undeniable. You might already know this, but running is an especially good cardio exercise. What you might not have known is that running for 1 hour a day can actually help you live longer. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and run!

Running 1 hour a day can make you live longer

Running is in style. You probably see people running in the park, in the streets, and in marathons every day. What you, and they, might not have known is that running even just an hour can even increase your life expectancy and help you live longer.

Plus, according to a study published in the US National Institutes of Health, runners have a 25-40% lower risk of premature death. The study claims that running an hour a day can add up to 7 years of life.

If you do the math, that means a person who runs Monday through Saturday for a whole month adds 168 hours onto their life. That’s an entire week extra.

So, if you keep this habit up for a year, you’ll live 12 weeks longer. Based on that study, it’s a simple calculation: one month of running an hour a day means you live one week longer.

When you compare the life expectancy of a runner with a non-runner, the non-runners live up to 3 years less than runners. And the best thing is that it doesn’t matter how fast or how long you run in that hour.

Now it doesn’t mean that running is the fountain of youth, because we all get old eventually. But it is good to know that this habit can be good for you in the long-term.

Another interesting finding from the study is that the advantages of running aren’t the same as biking or walking. While they’re all good for you, they don’t all have the same positive impact on your longevity.

Of course, if you want to reap the full benefits of running, you’ll have to keep a healthy balanced diet and avoid bad habits like smoking and drinking.

Exercise is good for you in so many ways, and we’re still discovering even more things it can do for our bodies. But we still don’t have a clear idea of how much each type of exercise can increase your life expectancy.

It also seems to depend on things like whether you exercise lightly, moderately, or intensely, how old you are, your physical state, etc.

What are the benefits of running?

the benefits of running

Besides helping you live longer (as if that weren’t enough), running, even for less than an hour, has many other advantages.

The more obvious benefits are that it can help you lose weight, improve your endurance, and make you more agile and flexible. But here are some other great benefits you can get from running:

1. It strengthens your cartilage

Some people think that running is bad for your knees and that the pounding wears down your cartilage. Actually, the truth is that it has the complete opposite effect.

People who run regularly also have a much lower risk of developing arthritis in their legs.

2. It improves your hearing

woman with short hair holding her hand to her ear

It may sound a bit odd, but there’s a scientific basis for this. When you run, the blood starts flowing through your body, including your ears. When your ears get the nutrients they need (from increased blood flow), you’ll hear better.

3. It raises your pain threshold

People who run several times a week can handle pain better than people who don’t. We’re not just talking about pain from injuries to the legs, either, but also in other parts of the body.

Headaches, dental procedures, and shots might not hurt as much if you’re a runner.

4. It improves your skin

woman with clear skin from daily running looking in the mirror

Running helps you release toxins through your sweat. It also forces you to hydrate more since you’re working hard. It’s a great way to get healthier, youthful skin.

5. It regenerates your muscles

Running isn’t just good for your cartilage, it’s also good for your muscles. Even now, some people think that you just can’t build muscle mass after a certain age.

But people who run can build new muscle mass because this exercise speeds up the production of cells that produce it. This also means that there’s a link between running and delaying muscle degeneration from aging.

6. It’s relaxing

woman sleeping in a white bed

When you finish a run, you feel tired, but also happy and relaxed. You get home and lounge on the couch to read or watch some TV, putting your problems and work and stress aside.

But if you’ve had a hard day at work or you’re anxious about something, the best thing to do is moderate or intense exercise.

7. It strengthens your bones

If you add medium or high-intensity exercise to your routine, you might even be helping to increase your bone density. That means you’d be lowering your risk of fractures and the much-feared osteoporosis as you get older.

Running for an hour a day can help you live longer, and help you live healthier. If you’re dissatisfied with your exercise routine, looking for something new, or just want to get healthier–this is a great choice!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Maribí Pereira. (2017). Los factores neurotróficos y el ejercicio físico y mental | ISEP.
  • Payne, C. (2016). Revista Española de Podología Carrera descalza y minimalista , una comprensión. Revista Española de Podología.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.