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Can running help you live longer?

File photo from Gate River Run
File photo from Gate River Run

People who made resolutions to be more active in 2020, may want to consider running.

One recent study suggests running -- even in small doses -- may help people live longer.

Dr. Dominic King, of Cleveland Clinic, said any type of exercise is healthy, but running is a great whole-body workout.

“It’s a great cardiovascular exercise, because it takes a lot of work for you to move through space with that quick repetitive kind of motion,” he said. “There’s a lot of work done by your quads, by your gluteal muscles and by your core to keep you upright. Running is kind of coordinated falling, so it’s actually a pretty complex mechanism for the body.”

Researchers pooled data from 14 studies.

They looked to see if there was a link between runners and death risk -- primarily from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Results showed any amount of running was associated with lower risk of death.

The study doesn’t tell us exactly how much running is best, but the authors note that some running is better than none.

For people looking to start a running program, King said it’s best to start slow.

“If you’re not currently a runner, learn to be a jogger, or learn to be a walker,” he said. “Find a good pair of tennis shoes, go outside, do one lap around the block and see how that feels on your hips, on your knees, on your feet and ankles.”

King said it’s always a good idea to check with a doctor to make sure running is recommended before pounding the pavement.

Complete results for the study can be found in The British Journal of Sports Medicine.