The Good, the Bad, and the Bad We Thought Was Good
Posted Nov 29 2010 2:27pm
Whenever ESPN.com publishes a piece that mentions running, you have to pay attention, because they normally would rather post details about Brett Favre’s lunch. This one was headlined “ 10 health-saving tactics that may be bad ,” and apparently came from Men’s Health, which is published by Rodale, the same folks that bring you Runner’s World.
Some of them you probably know about – stretching before a run, for example – but this one was interesting:
Of course most distance runners are fitter than couch potatoes. But those guys who run marathons year after year may be doing too much of a good thing. The Minneapolis Heart Institute looked at men who’d completed marathons for 25 consecutive years and found they had surprisingly high levels of arterial plaque — 62 percent more than sedentary men. Study author Jonathan Schwartz, M.D., says the physical stress of training and races, including elevated heart rate and blood pressure, can expose tissue to a damaging acidic environment. “This may be another example of, ‘Everything in moderation,’” he says.
I’m sure that conclusion is debatable, but a lot of runners do think that regular running is a guarantee of low blood pressure, low cholesterol and good heart health. In general, it is, but you’re not a general. You’re an individual, with specific and unique factors that can affect you one way or the other.