If you are thinking or planning to run your first marathon, you should know that running can “reverse the effects of aging”. Specifically, studies show that running a marathon can allow you to live almost four years longer. Certainly running is healthy for your health, and researchers have now proven it.
They analyzed 138 healthy participants who ran their first London marathon in 2016 and 2017. They began measuring blood pressure and arterial stiffness six months before the race, and then measured both participants again within one to three weeks of completing the marathon.
At the initial measurements, all participants ran no more than two hours per week and had no prior marathon experience. Training and running their first marathon reduced participants’ blood pressure by 4 and 3 mmHg and increased their aortic distension by 9 percent.
Researchers say it’s the equivalent of “a nearly four-year reduction in aortic age.” Basically, after running their first marathon, participants had lower blood pressure and a healthier heart. And if you think you are ineligible for a marathon, it is worth noting that higher results are seen in older, slower marathon runners with higher baseline blood pressure.
Researchers believe that adults with hypertension and stiff arteries will be expected to have an even greater cardiovascular response to exercise.
“This study emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle in modifying the aging process, especially since it seems never too late to benefit as we observed in research on older, slower runners,” said the University of London’s Scarlett Manisti.