According to this article, runners have a 'leg up' on nonrunners.
Researchers studied 500 older runners for more than 20 years and found they had fewer disabilities, were active later in life, and were half as likely to die early than other people.
Dr. James Fries started his research to disprove theories that older runners would suffer more injuries that would limit the benefits of exercise.
His team started annual tracking of 538 runners older than 50 and a similar group of nonrunners in 1984.
After 19 years, 34 percent of the nonrunners had died, compared to only 15 percent of the runners, even though the time spent running each week has declined as people reached their 70s and 80s.
The new findings were published in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
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