As New York limbers up to host the world’s biggest marathon on Sunday, runners around the world will be picturing its storied finish line to push for that extra kilometre (mile). But is running actually good for your health?
Yes, say experts, as long as you are careful. – Running for a longer life –Runners are 30 percent less likely to have a premature death and 45 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than non-runners, according to a US study published March in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. They can even expect to live for three years longer, the study found.
And these benefits appear to exceed that of all other physical activities. “Running may be the most cost-effective lifestyle medicine from a public health perspective,” the study’s authors said. The research analysed the data of 55,000 men and women aged 18 to 100 from a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). “Running has many benefits.
It is good for the entire cardiovascular system, from the heart to blood vessels,” sports cardiologist Stephane Cade told AFP. Running also has a positive effect on your mind.
“It helps your mental health by producing hormones, endorphins, which give you a feeling of well-being,” said Julien Schipman, a sports health specialist at France’s Institute of Sport and Performance (INSEP). – But there are risks – So running can be very good for your health, but you need to take precautions. “Someone who has never done it before should see a doctor for a check-up,” said Schipman.
Your age, weight, medical history and lifestyle — whether you smoke or drink — can all add up to make running a more risky prospect. “After 30 to 35 years, the biggest risks are heart attacks and sudden death,” Cade said.
“Deaths are often linked to heart disease which went unnoticed until being triggered by running.” A recent example came in October, when Tunisia’s 56-year-old health minister died of a heart attack while running 500 metres in a charity marathon. – AFP