The 1 Thing No Runner Wants to Hear

mom jogging with stroller and dog

Many avid runners start like this -- you loathe the first mile and constantly try to trick yourself into stopping. But then you finally get your groove, and you a) don't ever want to stop, and b) get defensive if anyone tries to make you. If you've run with shin splints, the flu, or nine months pregnant, you get it. For whatever reason, science-y type people seem to always find reasons why we shouldn't run so much, and today, they've added one to the mix that will make every one of us joggers stop short.

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To cut to the chase: If you run more than 2.4 hours a week, the effects on your body are the same as if you've been sitting on the couch, binge-watching the past two seasons of House of Cards.

We know. Whaaa?

Researchers in Denmark followed over 1,000 joggers over a period of 12 years. They also monitored 413 couch potatoes, although likely did not call them that to their faces.

The results appear in the new issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, but allow us to break them down for you right here: Strenuous joggers were as likely to die as those who never exercised at all.

The runners who really reaped health benefits (that is, had the lowest death rates) were those classified as "light joggers." Or, to be exact, people who ran three times a week for only 20-48 minutes each time.

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The reason is that while running (some) strengthens your heart, running a lot apparently puts a lot of stress on your cardiovascular system.

Dr. Peter Schnohr, the lead researcher and chief cardiologist of the Copenhagen City Heart Study, who is apparently unaware of how protective we runners are of our endorphin highs, said, "If your goal is to decrease risk of death and improve life expectancy, jogging a few times a week at a moderate pace is a good strategy. Anything more is not just unnecessary. It may be harmful."

We'd like to know how many people felt so stressed by this news that they had to go for a run.

Will this study make you rethink how much you run?

 

Image © iStock.com/JMichl

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