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Get a Move On

Slate—March 31, 2015

Hi, I'm Jordan and I'm a runner.

I ran today and I ran yesterday. I'll probably run tomorrow and maybe the day after. I often run alone, usually first thing in the morning. When I’m not running, I sometimes find myself thinking about running.

Is my running habit a problem?

Like many behaviors, running carries a potential for addiction. However, I'd classify myself as a running enthusiast. And it’s from that perspective that I want you to join me on the road.

In truth, I'd like for you to join me for several reasons.

Health is the first. The data in support of exercise, and particularly running, are irrefutable. If you run regularly, you're likely to live a longer, healthier, and happier life. That doesn't mean you have to run a marathon, or even a race, it just means you need to move every day.

Runners tend to live longer than nonrunning control groups, they tend to have lessened rates of depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, lowered risk of stroke, even improved memory compared with nonrunning controls. Chronic diseases, even certain types of cancer including colon, breast, cervical, and ovarian, are less common in runners than the general population.

Simply stated, running makes and keeps people healthy. I'm a doctor, and I want my patients to live as long and disease-free as they can. Running three to four times per week helps make that happen.

Jordan D. Metzl is a sports medicine physician at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Read the full interview at slate.com.


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