course à pied et santé

Running, a health-promoting sport!

The virtues of regular physical exercise are now fully documented. Improved health and longer life expectancy: running is a source of many benefits. But it might be useful to fully convince yourself of this in order to reassure the (last remaining) sceptics…


For improved control of your weight

Take in less calories than you use: runners who want to lose a few kilos should also observe this absolute requirement. But (and this is the good news!), running is one of the most effective ways to burn up calories faster.And this holds true even for relatively brief training sessions.

Remember: the more intense your effort, the more your body will burn up calories. When your training session or simple jogging drops to less than 75% of your maximum heart rate, the lipid channel is used heavily. Ultimately, however, nothing can equal more sustained effort. More calories are burnt up during and after this type of exertion.


Constantly lower your fitness age

Can an individual’s theoretical life expectancy be calculated using a simple questionnaire? Norwegian researchers have been using this method for the past few years, and the results of their studies – which are now involve tens of thousands of volunteers – are convincing enough to have created a real stir.

According to Scandinavian scientists, chronological age (date of birth) counts less than fitness age (cardiovascular health) in predicting premature death (compared to an average by country). In concrete terms, good VO2max is more significant than high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, or even regular smoking.According to the Norwegians, the best way to lower your fitness ageis to do a regular running type of sport.


Run to age better

A study carried out on 20,000 subjects – men and women with an average age of 49 – divided the panel into five categories corresponding to their level of physical health (after an aerobic test performed on a treadmill).

Their medical records were studied during the decade following this test (with the written agreement of everyone taking part in the study). It was noticed that on turning fifty, the group that had done the most training also had the latest onset of the eight chronic illnesses associated with ageing (diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, colon and lung cancer, cardiovascular disease).


A stress-busting remedy

Many scientific publications have confirmed that physical exercise speeds up the creation of new neurones, stimulates the memory and plays a positive role in treating depression.

Regarding the positive impact of sport on brain activity: a Canadian study has highlighted the importance of exercise on the mood of laboratory rats. After several weeks of exercise, the rats were less anxious and less prone to stress during the tests conducted. Nevertheless, these benefits disappeared after a month of sedentary existence.


Healthier bones

Running is sometimes criticized for subjecting the skeleton to repeated shocks. But this is to ignore the fact that bones need impact to preserve their density. An American study carried out on tens of thousands of women aged over 50 proved that they were 40% less likely to need a hip replacement when they ran or walked for at least four hours a week.



Listening very carefully to your body must remain the compass guiding any regular sport. And with the following twofold absolute requirement: do not run (even slowly) if persistent discomfort – in the muscles or tendons – appears, or if you identify any unusual symptoms (spinning head, fever, chest pains).