The Benefits of Running
The ultimate long-distance running events are marathons, officially 26 miles, 385 yards. There are more than 500 marathons each year around the world and most of those involved are recreational runners. If you research the subject you’ll hear stories of people who permanently remove their toenails to avoid the bruising and injury occasioned by the constant pounding of their feet (marathons do terrible things to toenails)—marathon runners are dedicated and hard-core. What are some of the health benefits of this type of sport? What makes the apparent hardships worthwhile for the growing numbers who join ranks at the starting lines around the globe?
Scientific research suggests that consistent long-distance running improves cardiovascular health. Running lowers blood pressure by maintaining elasticity in the arteries. When you run, your arteries expand and contract more than usual, which keeps your arteries elastic and blood pressure low. This is important for all people, especially people with high blood pressure. Running also maximizes the lungs’ potential. Normally, people only use fifty percent of the lungs’ capacity, but while running, you use the entire capacity. It has been shown that some smokers have fully recovered their lungs’ working capacity from doing long distance running or marathons. Aside from the cardiovascular system, it has been shown that long distance running also lowers the risk of disorders of the eye and prostate, among other organs.
Marathon runners have said that they experience intense exhilaration and euphoria after running, so you can see that it is also a huge morale booster. Surveys show that running marathons brings energy into daily life. It helps the body function better by improving sleep and brings about relaxation. Another nice benefit is that is does not increase appetite. Instead it acts a sort of suppressant and helps bring about a better eating schedule.
As you can see, long distancing running has many incredible benefits that not only help your body, but also keep you relaxed and give you more energy. Of course, to get ready for a marathon or any long-distance event, you have to work up your tolerance levels. Working with a knowledgeable trainer is a good idea to make sure you’re running correctly and strengthening any areas of weakness to avoid possible injury.
Tia Marashlian and Tracey Thatcher
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