We all know that running is good for you. We just didn't realise quite how good - until now...
A new study has revealed the true extent that regular running has on life expectancy, and the results are dramatic.
Researchers at Iowa State University found that an hour spent pounding the pavement can give seven hours back to your life, regardless of how far or fast you run.
Professor of kinesiology Duck-chul Lee and his team of exercise scientists analysed a huge raft of data from medical and fitness tests conducted at the Cooper Institute in Dallas. They also re-examined previous studies that had looked at the relationship between exercise and mortality.
Their conclusions are pretty convincing.
The scientists discovered that a typical runner will spend less than six months actually running over the course of almost 40 years, but can expect an increase in life expectancy of 3.2 years.
Their findings, published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease (and reported via the New York Times), also show that regular running drops a person's risk of mortality by almost 40%; even when you take into account lifestyle factors such as smoking or drinking.
Just lying on the sofa thinking about running doesn't count, sadly...
Predictably, the researchers found that other forms of exercise such as walking and cycling also increase life expectancy - but not to the same degree as running. In comparison, these types of workouts drop the risk of premature death by around 12%.
Of course, running won't make you immortal but the evidence of its benefits is staggering.
Dr. Lee says it's unclear why running should be such a vigorous force in the face of mortality. But, he speculates, it may be because the exercise specifically combats factors associated with early death, such as high blood pressure and excess body fat.
If you'll just s'cuse us - we're off to dust down our trainers...