Life-Long Endurance Training and Old Age

Marathon runner

Jordi Boixareu (Flickr)

Whether or not endurance training, specifically running, is good for your health in the long term has been hotly debated throughout the years.

You might hear people say that long-distance running is bad for your heart, or bad for your knees/joints. You may hear the stories about crazy injuries from ACL tears to Achilles popping.

It’s scary to think about!

So it’s always good to see some news coming from the science community that helps paints endurance in a positive light.

According to a newer study, published in July 2014, “…data suggest that life-long regular endurance running can partly counteract the aging process in connective tissue by reducing age-related accumulation of AGEs.”

Awesome, right?

Okay, for real, I had to look up what a lot of that actually means.

Basically, advanced glycation end products (AGEs) naturally form inside the body when protein and fats are combined with glycation (sugars).When this happens, the normal function of cells is hindered, making the cells more susceptible to damage and premature aging.

You can actually increase the harmful AGE compounds with a bad diet – which makes sense, since a poor diet can lead to premature aging.

But as the study points out, life-long regular endurance running can counteract the accumulation of AGEs in your body!

The second part of the study concludes that tendon tissues may actually get larger and stronger with regular endurance running, which could help lower the stress of the tendon and reduce risk of injury.

Obviously, this is one study and will need to be replicated, but it is always good to hear how life-long endurance running can actually benefit your body in the long run.

Yay, running!

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