Running is one of the most popular forms of cardio but, did you know, it has a direct (and alarming) effect on men’s heart health?
A new study by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has revealed that running ages men about 10 years while has no adverse effect on women. Researchers from St. Bartholomew Hospital, St. George’s Hospital, and University College London (UCL) have come forward with a study presented on behalf of the (BHF) which claims that running is more beneficial for women than men.
According to the research, long-distance running can actually add a whole decade to the vascular age of male runners. It can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes as it has been found to prematurely age major arteries in men.
“For athletes who train in endurance exercise, their hearts must work harder to pump blood around the body. Research has shown that in some cases, this can cause changes to the heart,” said Professor James Leiper, the associate medical director of BHF.
The conclusions were drawn based on observations from 300 runners over the age of 40. These runners had taken part in more than 10 endurance events, like marathons, Ironman Triathlons, and cycling events, and exercised regularly for at least 10 years. Men who had participated regularly in these endurance events were found to have a vascular age 10 years older than their actual age. On the other hand, women who regularly ran long-distance had a reduced vascular age, by an average of six years, and had other boosted health parameters as well.
Before you hastily throw away your running shoes, take a deep breath and relax. Leiper insists that more research needs to be done on this because there are several other health benefits from the act of running for men, like weight management, controlled blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Maybe take it a bit slow and easy on marathons and triathlons for now.