“The older you are, the greater the benefit”

Now those are not words you hear that often, are they?!

Hardly surprising, then, that I was thrilled to bits to read an article my lovely sister forwarded to me, about the health benefits of marathon running for we – ahem – older folk.

The article in question (I read it in The Times of London) focuses on the benefits of running a marathon for the first time, but one has to hope that the benefits carry forward to future races, too. Otherwise I’ve already blown my chances!

Here are 2 links to the study;

1 from Reuters

1 from the BBC

I’m going to quote quite liberally here from The Times article, because it is fascinating stuff.

A study has just been published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology” that was conducted by researchers at Barts NHS Trust & University College London. Apparently training for and running your first marathon ”can make your arteries four years younger and also have a rejuvenating effect on your blood pressure.”

The writer says that the prize at the finishing line (and no, it’s not the medal) is the chance ‘to reverse the consequences of ageing” on your blood vessels, as well as reducing your risk if a stroke by 10%,

In a piece of welcome news for slow runners like yours very truly, the study says that “older, slower individuals enjoyed the greatest Improvements in vascular health.”

Although running a marathon gets a bad rap sometimes with nay-sayers claiming it causes short-term damage to kidneys, and might cause muscle and bone stress, “the health benefits are deemed to far outweigh the risks.”

Ta da!

Good news all round, and I must remember to quote this study the next time I get a mean/critical comment about running “at your age”…

Happy running in 2020.

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