Marathon running or long-distance running has become common in the past few years, as more and more people care about their health and fitness. The number of women taking part has also gone up, according to data. Now, there’s some good news! A new study says that running for a long time could add up to 6-7 years to the lives of women.

On the other hand, it can make men’s arteries stiffer and age their vascular health by up to 10 years. The study of more than 300 regular athletes, which was paid for by the British Heart Foundation and Cardiac Risk in the Young, found that this could make them more likely to have strokes and heart attacks. The research, which hasn’t been reviewed by other experts yet, was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in Manchester, according to The Telegraph.

What could cause that to happen?

Over time, running long marathons can cause male athletes’ right atrium and right ventricle to enlarge, along with an increase in blood troponins and B-type natriuretic peptides, which suggests that these chambers are temporarily injured. Dr. Rakesh Rajpurohit, MD, consultant pulmonologist and critical care medicine specialist at Jain Multispecialty Hospital, Mira Road, Mumbai, said that this usually happens when the thinner chambers get more pressure from running for long hours.

Dr. Rajpurohit says this could be because men are more likely than women to have “stiff arterial walls,” which means that the blood vessels that bring blood to important organs like the heart become stiff. “When this damage happens over and over again, scar tissue can form in the heart muscle. This can cause sudden death or put a person at risk for heart disease,” he said.

“Women are not prone to blood vessel stiffness, in their late ages. But if they have cardiac or respiratory issues, then even females are at risk,” added Dr. Rajpurohit.

But these worries aren’t new. For example, a study published in July 2010 by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found the same thing. Most deaths are caused by coronary artery disease.

Biochemical and functional changes in the heart are often seen temporarily after a marathon, but their clinical significance is not known, according to the study.

Here’s what you need to know about running:

Experts say that there are many benefits to running as an aerobic exercise. It can help you build a strong core and lower body by making your muscles stronger, more stable, and more flexible.

“If you’re just starting, the first step in your running schedule is preconditioning. This will get you ready for harder training as you get your body ready to be more fit. The goal is to start slowly and then get stronger. It gets your muscles ready for longer distances and can help you avoid getting hurt in the future,” Rajat Khurana, managing director of ASICS India, said in an interview.

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