If you’ve ever considered training for a marathon, but you’re a bit intimidated by the idea of 26.2 miles, here’s some motivation.
A slow and steady 6-month training program designed to gradually build up endurance and mileage gave a group of novice runners, aged 21 to 69, an impressive boost to their heart health.
“What we found in this study is that we’re able to reverse the processes of aging that occur in the [blood] vessels,” says study author Dr. Anish Bhuva, a British Heart Foundation Cardiology Fellow at Barts Heart Centre in the UK.
Each of the 138 runners received a scan at the beginning and end of the training. Using these images, researchers documented reductions in aortic artery stiffness which were equivalent to a four-year reduction in vascular age. The findings are published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.