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Is Marathon Running bad for Your Heart?

Is Marathon Running bad for Your Heart

Whenever we hear someone mention optimal cardiovascular health, we immediately start thinking of some type of physical activity such as running or jogging. However, research studies have shown that marathon running can actually promote undesirable changes within the heart muscles. In turn, causing the heart to become enlarged. A situation that has been commonly observed in low-level fitness enthusiasts and untrained runners.

Marathon Running and Heart Issues

Whenever a rumor circulates that a runner has died from a heart attack. People are forced to consider whether or not these prolonged and strenuous activities are in fact healthy for the body. According to Dr. Julius Cuong Pham who is an associate professor at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine “Marathon-related deaths are not reportable.” In an interview, he stated that Physicians are not bound by law to report specific information regarding a person’s death while running a marathon to any of the local or health authorities.

Studying cardiovascular abnormalities

During a study conducted by the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. They found several competitors were found to display significant signs of injury to the heart muscles. They were also found to exhibit instances of cardiac abnormalities resulting from exercising for prolonged periods of time. This study was carried out with the hopes of effectively determining the level of stress the heart was subjected to during a marathon run. And whether that impacted stress might result in long-lasting and permanent damage.

Running test group

The research was carried out as scientists studied 20 amateur distance runners between the ages of 18 and 60 years old. All particpants were scheduled to partake in a long-distance marathon in Quebec. All 20 runners were previously tested and found to contain no known cardiovascular diseases. Nor were they subject to any treatment including any form of prescription drugs. Runners who had been active in any prior marathons in the last two months were excluded from the recruitment list. They were deemed ineligible for the study.

Testing their theory

The runners were tested six to eight weeks before the marathon run. On the day the marathon was scheduled to run, and again 48 hours after successfully completing the marathon. Specific tests included a range of blood sampling, and another MRI was performed on the runners. The Canadian researchers all suggested that this time frame was more than adequate to allow the body to achieve adequate levels of rehydration. Allowing the blood pressure and heart rate to return to normal levels. After having completed the marathon and yet short enough for them to conduct the relative tests necessary to observe any notable changes in the myocardial values.

Marathon running and heart function findings

Researchers found that over 10 of the runners participated in the marathon. Were found to display a significant decrease in both the left and right ventricular function. Resulting in increased swelling of the heart and a severe reduction in blood flow and circulation. It was noted in the study that these affected runners were runners who were low level less experienced runners. All participants were lacking in adequate training. Although the changes observed were of a temporary nature the injuries had the potential to put these runners at severe risk over a continual period of time.

How to protect yourself

The research concluded that people who wish to participate in long-distance marathons should have adequate training and undergo medical testing. You should speak with your doctor to ensure your body can handle the stress of marathon running.

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    Men’s Fit Club was started with the goal of empowering men to get the most out of their lives. This meant going beyond exercise and diet tips to really address the broad range of issues that men face on a daily basis – topics like recreation, finding love, sexual health and even sound fashion advice.