It’s been proven that running and juggling is good for your heart. Scientists have shown over and over that regular, vigorous exercise (e.g. joggling) reduces the risk of heart attack and improves survival rates if you happen to have one. Exercise has even been shown to be beneficial for people with known heart disease.
While the benefits were known, the exact reason for the improvement is still unknown. But that may change with this study published by University of Iowa researchers.
According to them, the chemicals naturally produced in your body while you exercise are also responsible for protecting your heart. These opioids are also the chemicals responsible for the “runner’s high” that people often report. (Still waiting for my runner’s high). Anyway, they did a study with rats and showed that when you block the production of opioids, the benefits of exercise disappear. Clearly, opioids play some role.
The ultimate goal of this research is to figure out a chemical way to mimic the benefits of exercise. This would be great for people with limited mobility. It’s not something we’d encourage here at JYAJ. Instead, you should get out there and joggle. Why not? It’s fun.
Incidentally, running is not without risk as we recently saw with the tragic death of elite runner Ryan Shay at last week’s Olympic trials. It is unknown what caused his death, but researchers have reported on rare cases where extreme running is not heart healthy. So be careful out there if you’re just starting an exercise program.