“Isn’t running bad for your knees?” is a question that runners frequently hear. And then there’s the occasional story about a runner passing out or—even worse—dying of a heart issue after running a marathon, which might make some people wonder if this running thing is really all that good for you.
While there is still some disagreement even in the medical field, a study in 2014 showed that even 50 minutes of running per week can cause a 30 percent drop in mortality risk. That being said, the researcher concluded that there should be further studies on the effect of over-exercising.
TIME also cited another study that showed while runners were thinner, with lower blood pressure and heart rate, older runners had “a lot of plaque in their arteries and scored higher on a measurement of heart-attack risk.” This is because when you rack up those miles on a regular basis, it can thicken your heart tissue and/or create plaque in your arteries.
So for the average person, running does more good than bad. It lowers your blood pressure, actually strengthens your knees, helps your heart, reduces your risk of cancer, and keep your memory sharp. Sounds good to us.