As we age, our arteries become increasingly stiff and less flexible. This favors cardiovascular risk, even in healthy people. And although it is known that aortic stiffness is reduced through supervised training programs, these are not easily generalizable. Now, research published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology” confirms that training and completing a marathon, even with a relatively low exercise intensity, can rejuvenate the arteries for almost 4 years.
The researchers from University College London (Great Britain) decided to control the arteries of a group of people who had decided to start a scheduled training in order to run the next London marathon. In total, 138 people who completed the marathon for the first time (from 21 to 69 years, 49% men) and who had completed an estimated training program of 9 to 21 km / week were evaluated
The aorta of a 60-year-old marathoner had an elasticity similar to that of a 56-year-old participant at the beginning of the study
And the conclusions were very clear: training and finishing a marathon can fix the arteries, leaving them more flexible, healthy and biologically younger than before, even if the runners are older or go slowly.
That is, the equivalent of about four years, in functional terms. For example, the aorta of a 60-year-old marathoner had an elasticity similar to that of a 56-year-old participant at the beginning of the study. And so on.
However, the study leaves some questions to be resolved by not taking into account the large number of marathon runners in the study that did not reach the starting line. It is also unknown if the rejuvenation of the aortas of the runners remains in time or if the benefits are lost if they do not continue running. .