Why is Running Good For Your Health?

Running to your health 

At the beginning of this year, many people wish themselves good health. Since this precious concept inevitably involves concrete actions, everyone must give themselves the means to achieve it. Running is one of the most accessible sports to achieve the goal of moving for health. But to love the race, you have to give it time to come into your life. 

This week, I present Denis Morneau's career path. It was through running and improved lifestyle habits that this man lost over 100 lbs. And he keeps running to maintain his health.

 Here we can see Denis Morneau, photographed in 2012. It was after seeing pictures of himself at a family party that he decided to get into the race.

The click 

Denis Morneau preferred to watch his children play sports rather than do it himself. But after he received the photos of a family party where he saw this body that he didn't really perceive as his own, a click happened.

It has become out of the question for him to start a new year this way. Thus, the announcement of a marathon in Carleton-sur-Mer, his hometown, becomes a goal. His objective. His challenge gave him wings as he succeeded. On June 6, 2013, Denis Morneau became a marathoner. He ran 42.2 miles in a body that had become his.

One step at a time 

Denis first chose to get into action on his elliptical. The very first time, he thought he would last ten minutes, but he had to resign himself to stopping after five minutes because he was so out of breath. The adventure was probably going to be less easy than he had imagined. His perseverance, however, was about to be put to the test. I'm not giving up! The key to its success was certainly not to be discouraged. Every day of the week, he started over again until he could go outside and complete his first kilometre. One step at a time, he went from minute to minute and kilometre to kilometre, making sure to feed his body in the best possible way, keeping his goal in mind.

The entourage

Since there is work, family and many other things that take time, the collaboration of the entourage remains another ally in the success of regular sports practice. Denis says that without his wife, children, friends and employer, he could not have done it. That's still true today. Even though he often trains alone, the people who love and appreciate him are always there to remind him that they are proud of him. Taking up any kind of physical activity is much more lively with support and encouragement. An energy source you can't buy at the grocery store.

Before and now

Even today, seven years later, the activity is still part of Denis' everyday life. Always one step at a time. He says the race has become his balance. All members of his family are now active. This summer, Denis set himself another major challenge. He will attempt to complete the impressive Canada Man triathlon in Lac-Mégantic, recognized as one of the most difficult sporting challenges in the country. 

His goals are incredible and, it must be said, they are not within everyone's reach. The message remains that everyone can choose to run for their health.

Running a marathon to live longer? 

Running a marathon for the first time might make you live longer. 

At least that's what a new study from the American College of Cardiology released Monday suggests.
The observation of 138 athletes, who were registered for the first time for a marathon, allowed researchers to conclude that the training required to run a marathon reduced the "vascular age" by four years.

That is, exercise reverses the stiffening of the body's main artery - the aorta - and reduces blood pressure.

"Our study highlights the importance of lifestyle changes to slow the risks associated with ageing, especially since it never seems too late, as evidenced by our older and slower runners," explains Charlotte H. Manisity of the Institute of Cardiovascular Science at the University College London

However, the author of the study claims that health benefits are not exclusive to running a marathon.
In his opinion, the main idea in this study is rather the benefits of training goals and adhering to a structure.

"The study shows that it is possible to reverse the effects of ageing on our blood vessels with real-world exercise in just six months," adds Dr Manisity. Running your first "four years younger" heart health marathon
Experts said that even more benefits could be seen in those with higher blood pressure and stiffer arteries.

Principal Investigator Dr Charlotte Manisty said: 
"Our study shows that it is possible to reverse the effects of ageing on our blood vessels by exercising in the real world in just six months. These benefits have been observed in healthy individuals across a wide age range and their marathon times suggest feasible physical training for novice participants."
The average running time for those in the group was 5.4 hours for women and 4.5 hours for men. 
The expert stated that this suggested a training program of six to 13 miles per week.

Dr Manisty said that signing up for a major health challenge could be a good way to make significant changes in health.

"Making a goal-oriented training recommendation - like signing up for a marathon or a fun run - can be a good motivation for our patients to stay active. Our study highlights the importance of lifestyle changes to slow the risks associated with ageing, especially since it never seems to be too late, as our older, slower runners attest." 

Too old? Too slow? No! No! Novice marathoners could add years to his life.

People who run a marathon for the first time can add years and reap the benefits of lower blood pressure and healthier arteries, even if they take up the challenge in the middle of life, Research published Monday showed.

"It never seems too late," said co-principal investigator Charlotte Manisty of University College London.
The Marathon study showed that major health improvements were seen in older, slower men who also had relatively high blood pressure when they started training, although the researchers said it was not clear why they benefited more.

In the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Manisty's team examined 138 marathoners who ran the London Marathon for the first time in 2016 and 2017.

On average, the new runners were 37 years old and 49% were male, and they had not run more than two hours per week before the start of the study. The average duration of the marathon at the end of the study was 5.4 hours for women and 4.5 hours for men.

Scientists examined the participants before training and after completing the 42-kilometre event to see if participation in a marathon had succeeded in changing their blood rigidity levels.

Hardening of the arteries is a normal part of ageing. It increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack and conditions that are also related to dementia and kidney disease.

Those who ran a marathon for the first time in the study saw, on average, a decrease in arterial stiffness equivalent to a four-year reduction in their "arterial age", and a decrease in systolic (when the heart muscles contract) and diastolic (when the muscles relax) pressure of 4 and 3 mmHg respectively.

The results show that "it is possible to reverse the consequences of the ageing of our blood vessels by exercising in just six months," said Manisty.

"They weren't people who were doing extreme levels of exercise or losing extreme weights. They were doing moderate training and achieving realistic career goals," he added in a telephone interview.

Metin Avkiran, director of the British Heart Foundation charity that is co-funding the research, said in a statement that the results showed the "undeniable" benefits of the exercise.

"As the old mantra says, if exercise were a pill, it would be hailed as a wonderful drug," he added.

 Running a first marathon would improve cardiovascular health

Healthy people who train and complete their first marathon cut the equivalent of four years off their vascular age, according to a new British study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers at University College London have linked this training to a reduction in blood pressure and aortic stiffness. The greatest benefits were seen in older and slower male runners, whose blood pressure was highest at the start.

Hardening of the arteries is a normal consequence of ageing, but it also increases the risk of cardiovascular problems in otherwise healthy individuals.

Researchers recruited 138 healthy people to participate in a first marathon in London in 2016 and 2017. These participants were examined six months before and within three weeks after the race to determine if their training had reduced the stiffness of their arteries.

Subjects did not run more than two hours per week at the start of the study. They averaged 37 years old and 49 percent of them were men. Many have adopted the training suggested by the marathon organizers for those who are new to the event, which is about three races per week that increase in intensity over 17 weeks.

The training lowered the systolic and diastolic pressure of the participants by 4 and 3 mmHg respectively. The overall stiffness of the arteries decreased, but the greatest beneficial impact was measured in the distal aorta, where elasticity improved by 9 percent. This corresponds to a reduction of about four years in the age of the arteries.

The authors of the study believe that their work shows that it is possible, with only six months of training, to reverse the consequences of ageing on blood vessels.

Although the researchers recruited only healthy participants, they believe that people with high blood pressure or those with the stiffest arteries could further improve their cardiovascular health through exercise.

Marathon rejuvenates your arteries

Running a marathon protects the heart. This discipline reduces blood pressure and stiffness of the arteries. To the point of vascular rejuvenation of 4 years.

It's no mystery, sport protects cardiovascular health from serious chronic diseases. But how beneficial is the marathon for heart?

To find out, scientists observed 138 athletes participating for the first time in the London Marathon in 2016 and 2017. Each was followed every 3 weeks, 6 months before the start of training until the end of the marathon. None of the volunteers had cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the follow-up. The average age was 37 years in this 49% male sample. Each ran no more than twice a week. Blood pressure was measured, as well as the stiffness and age of the arteries.

It's never too late to join a sport !

As a result, for those who made it to the end of the race, "blood pressure decreased as well as the stiffness of the arteries. The participants gained 4 years on the vascular side," explains Prof. Charlotte H.
"The participants were able to gain 4 years on the vascular side. Manisty. These benefits were particularly noticeable in elderly subjects, men with low running speed and high average blood pressure.
"It is, therefore, possible to reverse the cardiovascular consequences of age when physical activity is maintained for 6 months. "It's never too late to take care of your heart: "age and the pace of the race should not be an obstacle to motivation", says Prof. H. Manisty*.

Note: stiffness of the arteries is a normal process related to ageing. But this phenomenon increases cardiovascular risk, associated with the occurrence of dementia, cardiovascular and renal diseases.

*Institute of Cardiovascular Science at University College London and Barts Heart Centre in London

Preparing for a marathon would rejuvenate your arteries by four years...

Six months of training is enough to achieve this result. 
In addition to attracting participants for the challenge, running the first marathon is also appealing for its multiple health benefits. Such physical exercise would, among other things, significantly reduce the stiffness of the arteries.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the arteries of a novice marathon runner could become several years younger due to the physical preparation required for such a race.

For six months, between 2016 and 2017, a team of scientists from University College London monitored the central blood pressure (aortic) and aortic stiffness of 138 healthy, novice runners with no prior sports training.

At an average age of 37 years, the subjects' goal was to run the London Marathon. It was recommended - but not imposed - that they run about three races a week (more or less 15 kilometres), of increasing difficulty, for a period of seventeen weeks.

Risk reduction

After these six months of training, the arteries of the aspiring marathon runners regained a certain juvenile form. This decrease in aortic stiffness would be equivalent to a reduction of about four years in their vascular age, the study says.

Getting a few years younger is not insignificant, especially when it comes to your arteries: over time, your arteries become less flexible and strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease are more likely to occur.

"Staying active reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as your risk of premature death," says Professor Metin Avkiran of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which funded the study.

The benefits of the marathon would be greater for older male participants, whose pace of running was slower. On the other hand, people who were less fit before the marathon seem to have benefited more from the training on their arteries. Running is good for your brain.

A healthy mind in a healthy body.

During a jog you sweat, you're short of breath, in short, you're in pain. But did you know that running has a tremendous effect on your brain? Running enthusiasts already know a little bit about it: running allows you to clear your head, to be more concentrated and in a better mood. A team of scientists from the University of Western Michigan has been working to understand the origin of this phenomenon.

American researchers put twenty-two amateur joggers to the test. After thirty minutes on a treadmill, they found that the athletes' abilities to process information, concentrate and move from one task to another were significantly improved. The best progress was made after several ten-minute splits.

This research confirms the results of the study conducted in 2016 by David Raichlen, an anthropologist at the University of Arizona. By comparing the brain activity of regular runners with that of non-athletes, this scientist found that there was a marked improvement in the activity of the frontal lobe - the part of the brain that is involved in all motor functions and working memory.

As with many things, it's a question of dosage: a team of German neuroscientists analysed the brain activity of participants in the Trans Europe Footrace, a transcontinental ultramarathon. During the race, scientists noticed that the grey matter of runners had decreased by 6% - the "normal" decrease associated with old age is 0.2% per year.

When running rhymes with meditation

In a world where everything rhymes with distraction, running helps you regain a sense of control," writes Ben Martynoga, a journalist with The Guardian.

Even better, running reduces the wakefulness of our brain, also known as the Default Mode Network (RMD): a network made up of regions of the prefrontal cortex that works even when we do nothing. When we are in "wakefulness", our inner monologue takes over, our mind wanders sometimes to dark areas of our brain associated with symptoms of depression.

David Raichlen's study argues that running is a form of mobile meditation: brain imaging shows that both practices have similar effects on our brains: "While jogging, you tend to be absorbed in the moment, in perfect harmony with your body and fully aware of your breathing," explains The Guardian.

The study conducted by the team of scientists from the University of Western Michigan, therefore, offers a perception of the mysterious dialogue between our brain and our body.

"At first glance, we don't think our legs can affect our mental state. This research reminds us that the brain is an organ like any other. What you choose to do with your body will inevitably affect your psychological state," concludes Ben Marynoga.