While long-distance endurance running is great for cardiovascular health, it is also good for blood pressure and the immune system. Whether or not marathon running is healthy depends on several factors, including the degree of training and fitness, the extent of injuries, and the severity of the symptoms. A common complaint among marathon runners is nipple chafing, also called “jogger’s nipple.”
Long-distance endurance running improves cardiovascular health
Runners who engage in marathon training can expect fewer cardiac arrests and improved heart health. A recent study by the American Heart Association looked at the effect of endurance running on cardiovascular health. The researchers looked at 59 people who participated in half-marathons and marathons over the course of 10 years. The runners themselves had an average daily exercise routine of five hours. The results showed that marathon training can significantly reduce the risk of a cardiac incident.
A study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) meeting in San Francisco in 2012 examined the effect of running on the risk of cardiovascular disease. One of the authors of the study, Dr. Duck-chul Lee, was an epidemiologist at the University of South Carolina. He led an interdisciplinary team that included 50,000 Cooper Clinic patients. Among them, 14,000 runners reported participating in marathon training. The results showed that runners were 19 percent less likely to die than non-runners.
Though sudden cardiac arrest occurs rarely, it is important to consult a physician before starting a marathon training program. According to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, most deaths in marathon running occurred in people with a congenital heart condition or preexisting cardiovascular disease. Before increasing your mileage, you should visit a physician. They will assess your cardiovascular health and ask about any heart problems you may have. They will then perform blood pressure measurements and listen to your heart using a stethoscope.
It improves blood pressure
There are several health benefits to running, including reduced blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 47 million Americans participate in some form of aerobic exercise regularly. In fact, runners have lower risk factors for heart disease and earlier death than non-runners. However, it’s also important to note that the number of people with high blood pressure is more than twice as large. Hypertension is a medical term for high blood pressure.
One study found that running decreased blood pressure and helped decrease arterial stiffness in participants. The researchers compared the stiffness of arteries in participants of marathon running to the average person who has no such condition. This reduction was equivalent to a four-year drop in vascular age. Although this condition is not dangerous, it is important to seek medical treatment if symptoms continue for more than two weeks. For example, if you’re experiencing lightheadedness or dizziness, see your doctor.
The results also showed that the number of previous marathons played a role in the increase of BP during recovery. Runners with less marathon experience had lower summation BP. The higher their previous marathon distance, the better their recovery was. A higher fat-free mass also correlated with lower BP during the race recovery period. This is another benefit of marathon running. The benefits of running a marathon outweigh the risks.
It improves the immune system
Marathon running can strengthen the immune system. Researchers studied the immune response of runners after completing the Los Angeles Marathon. They found that runners who trained 60 miles a week had twice the risk of developing post-marathon infections, while those who trained 20 miles a week had half the risk. In addition, marathon finishers had six times the number of infections after finishing the race. The researchers conclude that marathon running helps the immune system.
The immune response of marathon runners was studied by measuring several biochemical, hematological, and immunological parameters. They found that during the first 10 minutes of exercise, immune cells increased tenfold. After the workout, immune cells decreased by half or more, and the effect lasted for several hours. These findings rebuffed the widespread perception that endurance athletes are susceptible to infection. Rather, marathon runners’ immune responses improved over time.
In addition to the benefits of marathon running on the immune system, moderate exercise has also been shown to improve the body’s immune response. This is due to a change in immune cell and stress hormone levels during a moderate workout. Also, the increase in temperature kills bacteria. Hard workouts, on the other hand, have the opposite effect. The results are quite promising. But there are some caveats to these findings.
It causes stress
When you start to train for a marathon, your body’s physiological support systems are put into overdrive. Your heart pumps three to four times more blood than at rest, and your digestive and nervous systems also work overtime to keep up. Blood pumped from your heart goes to your muscles and abdominal organs. However, a study showed that chronic psychological stress can reduce muscle recovery. If you want to avoid the stress associated with marathon running, here are some tips to keep you calm and on track:
Despite the high-resistance nature of marathons, they are relatively easy to finish. The stress and strain of training can also be hard on your heart. Running a marathon requires your heart to work overtime, and your heart can become overworked and weak as a result. Additionally, the intense pace of marathon running can lead to cardiovascular problems and plaque buildup in your arteries. Hence, your heart will need more rest in between marathons to recover.
Despite the fact that runners often suffer from stress fractures, many runners are unaware of it. Correct diagnosis is vital in treating a stress fracture. An accurate diagnosis can help you get your body on the right track and prevent you from aggravating the condition further by running. If you suspect you might have a stress fracture, consult a doctor immediately. Your physician will be able to determine if you have one and order the appropriate imaging to check for the condition.
It causes toenail loss
Toenail loss can be a common side effect of marathon running. Toenails grow back from the matrix cells in the nail bed, and the new toenail pushes the old one-off. A dead toenail remains on to protect the sensitive skin underneath. During a marathon, however, your toenails may bruise. Improperly fitted shoes or hammertoes can cause these bruises. Even if your shoes fit correctly, your toes may feel swollen and brittle.
In addition to microtrauma, prolonged running can result in a black toenail. This is a result of the constant impact between the shoe and your toenail. If you ignore it, you may experience painful complications such as infection and blood blisters. If the black toenail does persist, you may lose your toenail altogether. A quick trip to the doctor may cure your black toenail problem.
In the case of infection, it’s best to consult a doctor. A physician will help you determine if you have a serious infection and how to treat it. In severe cases, you might need to change your shoes or reduce your training load. If you experience bleeding, apply an antibiotic ointment. Antibiotics can help prevent infections that can lead to gangrene and blood infections. Ultimately, you’ll have a healthy new toenail within a year of reducing your workload.
It causes kidney damage
The new Yale study has confirmed that marathon running can result in short-term kidney damage. The researchers were trying to understand how the physical stress of running a marathon impacts the kidneys. Dr. Sherry Mansour, an instructor of nephrology at Yale School of Medicine, said the findings are “conclusive.”
In their study, Mansour and his colleagues measured blood and urine creatinine levels to determine if runners were at a higher risk for acute kidney injury after marathon training. The researchers used both conventional and novel biomarkers to assess the risk of kidney injury in runners. The results showed that 82 percent of runners developed stage one acute kidney injury. The researchers stressed that the damage was temporary and the athletes’ urine and blood levels returned to normal after 48 hours. The authors say that the kidney response to marathon training is similar to that of cardiac surgery and medications.
While some runners recover completely from their injuries, others experience chronic kidney disease. A runner’s kidneys may form small scars after marathon running. Runners with other risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and a personal history of kidney disease, would be at higher risk. Furthermore, as a person gets older, their body’s ability to repair itself may diminish. The researchers suggest that people should wait for a minimum of two marathons to reduce the risk of kidney damage.
So, is marathon running healthy? The answer to that question is not a simple one. There are many factors to consider when answering the question of whether or not marathon running is healthy, such as the individual’s health history, age, and fitness level. However, for most people who are in good physical condition, marathon running can be a healthy activity. Marathon runners typically enjoy better overall health than those who don’t participate in any type of aerobic exercise, and they also have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.