Study: Running too hard, too often could be harmful

WASHINGTON – D.C. is home to runners of all ages who like to start or end each day by lacing up those shoes and hitting the pavement.

But a new study out of Denmark suggests that the duration, intensity and frequency of those runs could have long-term consequences for a runner’s health.

The study published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that fast-paced joggers were as likely to die as those who didn’t jog at all. Whereas slow to moderate-paced joggers had significantly lower mortality rates.

Researchers in Copenhagen tracked more than 1,000 joggers plus 413 healthy, but sedentary non-joggers during a period of 12 years. The study looked at the hours spent jogging, frequency and each individual’s perceived pace.

“Strenuous jogging corresponds to very vigorous exercise,” said research Dr. Peter Schnohr in a statement. “When performed for decades, this activity level could pose health risks, especially to the cardiovascular system.”

The study suggests that 1 to 2.4 hours of jogging per week and running no more than three days per week would be ideal.

“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, ” Schnohr said.

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