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Running 20 miles a week could get you closer to the ‘finish line’

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RunningTwo new studies set to be published in the British journal Heart next month claim that “running too fast, too far and for too many years” could shorten your life span. The first study points out that running more than 20 miles a week doesn’t reap health benefits and living life at a slow pace could make you live longer.

The research analyzed the lifestyle of 52,600 people for thirty years and found that those who ran less than 20 miles a week had a 19 percent lower mortality rate. The extended life span was at risk and running’s health benefits wiped out if runners usually ran between 20 and 25 miles a week.

The other study warned against the speed at which you run. It found that people who want to benefit the most from their physical activity must not run faster than 8 miles per hour.

The Wall Street Journal reprots:

Those two studies—presented at recent medical conferences—follow the publication in recent months and years of several other articles finding cardiac abnormalities in extreme athletes, including coronary artery calcification of a degree typically found in the utterly sedentary.

Opinion is nearly unanimous among cardiologists that endurance athletics significantly increases the risk of atrial fibrillation, an arrhythmia that is estimated to be the cause of one third of all strokes. “Chronic extreme exercise appears to cause excessive ‘wear-and-tear’ on the heart,” the editorial says.

Critics of the two new studies say researchers have manipulated the data. Paul Thompson, a former marathoner and a sports cardiologist at Hartford Hospital, said : “They have an agenda.”

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