Is Long Distance Running Healthy?

Health & Wellness

Long distance running can be a fantastic way to get in shape. You can also get a positive mental boost from running. In fact, some runners become addicted to the “runner’s high” they experience. In addition, the physical exertion from running is a great stress reliever. The overall benefits of running are: physical strength, cardiovascular health, and mental stability. 

But can running marathons be bad for you? Heart, a British medical journal reported that excessive exercise and cardiovascular workouts can actually nullify the benefits obtained by moderate exercise.

Marathon Running’s Effects On Hydration

You may have seen videos of runners suddenly keeling over in pain. There seems to be no warning signs or tell-tale physical trigger. New runners often make the mistake of hydrating before the run with diet soda or some kind of drink containing aspartame or artificial sweetener, which may in high does cause pulmonary hypertension. Some sports drinks can help if they contain electrolytes but plain water or a specifically manufactured runners drink is the best option. If you get overheated, you’re dehydrated and it won’t be long before you are out of the race.

Marathon Running’s Effects On Heart Health

Running long distances puts incredible stress on the heart. High-intensity exercising, lasting more than two hours, can seriously damage the cardiovascular system. The tissues of the heart can thicken and form scar tissue.

Improper Training

Runners who do not properly train before the marathon are at a higher risk of injury and irreparable damage. No one without proper training can just wake up one day and run a 26-mile marathon. It can take years of training the body to endure the challenge of a constant run.

Properly preparing for a marathon involves a stretching regimen along with resistance and endurance training. You need to also do progressively longer runs.

According to medical experts, marathon runners do not experience the joint, tendon, and muscle issues that were previously thought. This is so long as proper training is conducted. Training teaches the body to adapt to the conditioning. It also allows for the joints and muscles to absorb the impact without significant damage.

People of all ages use marathon running as a way to stay young and healthy as well as contribute to a good cause. Medical experts agree that helping others through a charitable endeavor can greatly reduce depression, anxiety, and stress.

While all these dangers of marathon running can cause serious damage, running one or two marathons a year, if properly trained for it, can be a health benefit. It can bring communities together and even help you meet new people.

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