Training for a Marathon Can Reverse the Aging of Blood Vessels

I found this article from the European Society of Cardiology that explained the results of a recent British Heart Foundation study on first-time marathon runners. Runners who had never completed a marathon before completed six months of training leading up to the London Marathon. Before and post marathon they used MRI’s to measure their heart and blood vessels, a fitness test, and blood pressure and heart rate. The results they found were, to me at least, astonishing. After training for the marathon, the runners had aortas that were 4 years younger than they were before the training. Especially older participants had less aortic stiffness, even if their marathon time was slower. Blood pressure was lowered and overall fitness and heart rate lowered as well. I think one of the coolest things about this article is that it shows you don’t need to be an elite marathon runner to receive the health benefits of an active lifestyle. People running, even slowly, reversed their cardiovascular health and now have younger arteries. As we all know, part of aging is the stiffening of arteries which can lead to stroke and heart attack so if this is what it takes to reduce those risks, I think we should all consider training for a marathon- even if we might not be Nike’s Breaking2 top pick.

 

European Society of Cardiology. “Training for first-time marathon ‘reverses’ aging of blood vessels.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190503080607.htm>.

One thought on “Training for a Marathon Can Reverse the Aging of Blood Vessels

  1. This is a really interesting article Laura! I think it’s really cool how even first time marathon runners can experience such health benefits like this. I know we’ve talked about it in class about the benefits of exercise, especially when it comes to aging, but I didn’t think a one time event like this could have such a benefit on the health of someone. I wonder if it was the training that had this effect on the people or if it was the marathon itself that had such an impact. It’s crazy how even a little bit of exercise a day can lead to such beneficial impacts on your health. Exercise is awesome and as much as people (including myself) don’t like to do it all the time the health benefits are definitely a good motivation.

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