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For twenty years, researchers at the University of Stanford in the USA conducted research on the potential benefits of exercise, specifically running, on human health. In these 20 years, the sample consisted of over 400 people, the majority of them runners, who never or almost never stopped running, and the rest not exercising out at all or rarely exercising.
The final results showed that running, more than any other type of exercise, cut by half the odds of death for those who had made it part of their lives, in this 20 year period.
More specifically, researchers at the American university studied 284 people who ran, while they also based their research on another 156 healthy people who did not exercise, as a control group. However, all 440 had similar economic and social backgrounds, while they were already over 50 years old when the survey began.
Every year, the researchers collected data on the frequency of exercise of the test subjects, their measurements (weight, percentage of fat, etc.), as well as their functioning as regards eight specific routine activities (walking, waking up in the morning, ease of movement, etc.).
According to preliminary results, those who were running also had a lower bodily weight and were non smokers, while most of them kept running for subsequent years as well. Gradually, the time of exercise was reduced for all, but very rarely participants from the group of runners stopped intense physical exercise completely.
The final results of the 20-year research were triumphantly in favor of people who exercise running and aim at improving their health even into old age. This is because the group of runners had significantly lower rates in the occurrence of heart disease, cancer and neurological diseases. As a matter of fact, only 15% of the group of runners had passed away during the survey, compared with 34% of the non exercising group. In parallel, the "runners" were performing the eight routine activities with much greater ease.
The survey, however, did not leave outside those who started running at a greater age, with the professors arguing that even those reaped the exact same benefits as those who exercise for years. Finally, the survey concluded that the risk of injury is nothing but an excuse, as those who ran had fewer injuries than those who did not exercise.
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