(STUDY FINDS) -- LONDON — For those considering trying out their first marathon, it can seem like an intimidating task. While there’s no getting around the fact that running a marathon will push one’s physical limits, a new study finds it can do some serious health wonders as well. According to researchers in London, training for and completing a marathon for the first time can result in reductions in blood pressure and aortic stiffness that is equivalent to turning one’s body clock back by four years from a vascular health perspective!
The greatest vascular benefits were seen in older, male marathon runners who had particularly high blood pressure before starting training, researchers say.
“As clinicians are meeting with patients in the new year, making a goal-oriented exercise training recommendation — such as signing up for a marathon or fun-run–may be a good motivator for our patients to keep active,” notes senior author Charlotte H. Manisty, MD, of the Institute of Cardiovascular Science at University College London and Barts Heart Centre in London, in a release. “Our study highlights the importance of lifestyle modifications to slow the risks associated with aging, especially as it appears to never be too late as evidenced by our older, slower runners.”
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