At the moment I am slightly frustrated as I have a torn meniscus in my right knee (cartilage), and that has stopped me running (or jogging). And for someone who has played a lot of football and cricket, I have found it troubling.
And now a study has suggested that taking up running can make your heart four years younger!
Experts from University College London and Barts Health NHS Trust, who published their findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found six months of training for a marathon can significantly reduce blood vessel stiffness and blood pressure. Amonst the 138 participants, older, slower runners - half of whom were men - saw the most benefit. Apparently, blood vessel stiffness is a normal part of getting old. They also found "vascular age" - a key m,easure of heart health - fell by four years.
Dr. Charlotte Manisty said the benefits were clear for all the participants, whose average age was 37. She said the study showed the importance of lifestyle changes to slowing age-related health risks and it was "never too late".
Professor Metin Avkiran, from the British Heart Foundation, said: "keeping active reduces your risk of having a heart attack or stroke and cuts your chances of an early death"
It should be said that you do not need to be training for a marathon to reap these benefits. More is great, but every bit counts. As they say; "something is always better than nothing".