Research found that training for a marathon reduces age-related aortic stiffening by four years

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo by Quino Al/Unsplash

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, training for a marathon reduces age-related aortic stiffening by four years. It’s proven that active training (especially supervised training programs) prevents cardiovascular attacks and reverses some of the effects of aging in our bodies. 

The researchers examined a total of 138 first-time marathon finishers (ages 21 to 69 years old) who took part in the London Marathon in 2016 and 2017. The participants, who religiously trained an estimate of six to 13-miles per week, were observed six months before training until three-weeks after the race. 

Although there was no specific training routine given, participants were encouraged to use the “Beginner’s Training Plan” 17 weeks before the race—which was three runs per week with an increasing level of difficulty as each week passed. The results then indicated that training for a marathon decreases systolic blood pressure (when the heart beats) by four units and diastolic blood pressure (when the heart rests between beats) by three units. 

The results also indicated that descending aortic distensibility (bioelastic function of the aorta) increased while remaining uncharged. These results translated to a decrease in aortic age by 3.9-years or even four years, and that training for and completing a marathon (even at low exercises intensity) helps prevent central blood pressure and aortic stiffness. 

Start Your Running Journey Today

Running has always been linked to multiple health benefits, like how it helps you live longer, reduces the risk of cancer, and improves mental well-being. But one challenge when it comes to running is getting yourself to start. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to make the prospect of starting less daunting, like starting slow and at your own pace, finding a running buddy or even community, signing up for fitness apps like Runkeeper, Nike +, Adidas Running, Starva, and investing in the right running gear to keep you motivated. 

As American runner John Bingham says: “The miracle isn’t that I finished (running). The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

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