According to a pretty fascinating new study commissioned by Mizuno Running, those benefits are way better than anything your annoying "runner" friend has ever told you over brunch. Synthesizing a wealth of available data on the effect of running on various aspects of life, researchers at the University of North Carolina have projected the benefits of a hypothetical runners' utopia. If 270 million Americans (basically everyone with the physical ability) chose to run regularly, we would collectively experience an increase in life expectancy of 5.6 years in women (6.2 years in men), we would cut $143 billion in our health-care spending, we would smoke 48.1 million fewer cigarettes per day — and we'd lose a total of 200 million inches from our waistlines.
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See more highlights from the study below.