The Benefits Of Running For Your Heart
Whilst it should be obvious that exercise is good for your health there is some research to suggest that it is possible to overdo it. Some studies have found that long term endurance athletes can be at an increased risk of abnormal heartbeats and even of scarring of the heart muscle.
Having said that the actual number of runners having a heart attack whilst doing a marathon is extremely small which would suggest the strain on the heart is not excessive.
The study performed by the University of Hartford contained 42 runners along with their spouses with ages ranging from 33 to 59. Their spouses were much less active often performing less than two sessions of moderate exercise each week with many not doing any formal exercise at all.
It was found that the marathon runners were thinner than their spouses although few of those spouses were actually overweight. The runners also had better indicators of cardiac health such as lower blood pressure, heart rates and lower bad cholesterol levels. It was found that marathon training did not cancel out long term bad health habits or a family history of cardiac problems.
The researchers found no correlation between the number of hours trained and the levels of plaque in their arteries. This suggests that marathon training does not directly damage the heart.
The overall findings of the study suggests that frequent endurance exercise will likely not hurt your heart and will most likely strengthen it. The most surprising finding was that the spouses were relatively healthy. This is likely due to them sharing certain aspects of their healthy lifestyle leading them to moving around more frequently.