I was never really interested in exercising or any sort of physical activity when I was younger, as I spent most days watching TV or playing video games indoors. I began to realize that not being active could be really harmful towards my health, so I decided to start running as a form of exercise. At first, I could barely run a mile without gasping for air or feeling as if I was going to throw up. However, as time passed by, my stamina improved dramatically and I was eventually able to run several miles without stopping. I felt as if I was in the best shape of my life and that all of this running would really pay off in the long run, but I was shocked to discover that this may not be the case.
In a recent study conducted by Dr. Matsumara, co-director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Network, the long-term effects of running both long and short distances were tested. Researchers who studied this topic earlier proposed that people who run more than 20 miles a week, at a pace of 7.5 mph or higher, will most likely have shorter lifespans.
Matsumara wondered if there were other factors that explained why high-mileage runners were living shorter lives. After looking at the backgrounds and routines of both types of runners, Matsumara discovered that that there were no differences between the two types of runners. There have not yet been findings that give any specific explanations for why high-mileage runners have shorter lifespans, but according to Matsumara, “running fast and far may be toxic to the heart in some way.” Although, some researchers believe that long distance running may lead to the buildup of scar tissue on the heart which can result in the runner developing what is known as “myocardial fibrosis.” Runners suffering from this may experience stiffening of their heart muscles, as well as the premature aging of their heart. However, there is not a sufficient amount of evidence to support this theory, so high-mileage runners shouldn’t worry just yet.
Running is definitely an excellent way to exercise and if running is your choice of exercise then you should absolutely continue to include it as part of your routine. However, people should consider the amount that they run because running excessively could be very harmful to a person’s health. If high-mileage runners ever experience any pain or fatigue, they should cut back immediately and not risk facing the possible consequences.