Slowness might actually be a health benefit. Some new research says running too much at too fast a pace could prove fatal in the long term.

Exercise is good for you, to a point—do too much of it actually becomes a serious cardiac risk. That's long been assumed, but a pair of new studies, which will run in the British health journal, Heart, next month, pretty much confirm it. In the past, the risk used to be assessed by the number of people who passed out during marathons—that was usually about one in 100,000. But while a study of 52,600 runners showed that pounding the pavement can yield a 19 percent lower mortality rate, that benefit was wiped out for those tallying 20 to 25 miles a week. Not exactly sure how those stats work because we all die eventually.

The other study says that hey, if you're slow, you're doing something right and you're going to benefit from it. But if you run faster than 8 miles per hour, you're probably doing some grave damage to the old ticker.

Of course, there isn't exactly a consensus here. Advocates of lots of fast running say that slowpoke evangelicals have an agenda, and vice-versa. But let's just go ahead and assume that you should be proud of your 20-minute mile pace. You might not win a medal, but you're less liable to kill yourself through exercise. [WSJ]

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