By: David Dack
When it comes to improving cardiovascular fitness and warding off serious heart-related problems, running and cardiovascular exercises are the ideal prevention approach. In fact, running on a regular basis adds years to your life. According to many studies, running sheds colossal calories, prevents diabetes, lessens stress, makes you look younger, and boosts your overall health and wellbeing levels.
Nevertheless, some people question the safety of this sport. For instance, the tragic death of young and athletic racers during or just after completing a marathon added some legitimacy to the debate. So does running lower the risk of suffering cardiac arrest? Or is it the other way around? To answer that puzzling question, let’s take a look at some of the studies conducted on the subject of running and heart-related problems.
Running, Death and Statistics
In a study published by The American Journal of Cardiology, researchers found that the risk of fatality due to a marathon is 1 death per 75,100 runners. The study lasted 3 decades and analyzed more than 525,000 runners; only 7 heart attack deaths were recorded. In another similar study by the British Medical Journal, there were 26 heart attack deaths among 3,292,000 American runners who have been competing in marathons over the past thirty years. The risk of death is very small and the findings are inconclusive.
The matter of fact is that running will help you cheat the reaper and add many years to your life. The superior health and longevity extend into the days, weeks, months, years, and even decades to come. Another study published by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the risk of heart-related problems is reduced by more than 50 percent for people engaging in running and other forms of vigorous exercise. In addition, countless other studies concluded that regular runners suffer less from diabetes and high blood pressure, and enjoy better self-image and health status over sedentary people.
Take the Right Precautions
While these benefits do exist, the high impact nature of running could indeed lead to some serious health troubles. In fact, most studies insist that people with already existing heart problems run a higher a risk during high intensity exercise.
Therefore, you should follow these preventative measures to ensure proper safety training.
Check your heart rate – Keeping tags on your normal heart rate helps you assess how your cardiovascular system is responding to the training load. For instance, if your heart rate is spikier than normal—5 to 12-beats—then the chances of over-training and burnout are high. In that case, you need to unload the intensity or take a couple days off the training wagon.
Check with the cardiologist – Before enrolling in any long distance running such as half-marathon or marathon races, get the green light first from your doctor. This is especially true if you’re overweight or you suspect the existence of hereditary heart problems in your family. Doing so helps you put the worry at halt and spot any problem before it gets any worse.
- Listen to your body – Keep a keen eye (and ear) on the way you felt both during and after a running session. Any chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, or nausea should be properly addressed. These symptoms may just be the signs of positive adaptation. Still, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.While these preventative measures may seem unnecessary, taking the right precautions will help you to proceed with the training with ease. Implement what you’ve just learned and always exercise within your skill level.
About the author
David Dack is a runner and an established author on weight loss, motivation and fitness.
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