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Run Long

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36674900Spend some time reading the National Runners Health Study, and you might be inspired to tack a mile or two onto your next run. Since 1991, Dr. Paul Williams and a team of researchers have worked with more than 120,000 runners to learn how running impacts human health.

Some of the most interesting findings for female runners involve weekly mileage totals. Here are a few highlights, which might help you stay motivated on your next long run.

—Those who ran the most mileage (40+) per week may have a 29 percent reduction of heart attack risk and a 45 percent reduction of cardiovascular
disease mortality compared to those who ran 10 miles per week.

—The more miles women ran per week, the narrower their hip and waist measurements.

—The more miles women ran per week, the leaner they were. And it didn’t require a major jump in mileage to see a difference in Body Mass Index (BMI) scores. Women who ran 0 to 9 miles per week had an average BMI of 25.12 (a score of 25 or higher is considered overweight, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute); those who ran 10-19 miles per week had a healthy BMI of 23.66.