AUSTIN (KXAN) — A recent study found that as people get older, their arteries begin to harden, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attacks.
However, training for a marathon can actually help reduce blood pressure and cut years off the age of your heart.
Director of Cardiovascular Services at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center Craig Turner sat down with KXAN to explain exactly how training for a marathon improves your heart health.
“Aging increases aortic stiffness, contributing to cardiovascular risk even in healthy individuals,” explained Turner. “Aortic stiffness is reduced through supervised training programs, but these are not easily generalizable.”
Turner also explained that for older runners training for a marathon even at a low intensity can have an effect equal to a four year reduction in vascular age.