Awareness of the importance of maintaining health has made long-distance running more popular with people urban. However, it should also be noted that apart from bringing benefits, there are health risks that lurk long-distance runners. One of them is the risk of getting injured.
As with running a marathon, before running a long distance, you need to prepare for physical and mental health. Physical preparation, high discipline, and a strong commitment are needed so that the benefits of long-distance running can be obtained and the negative effects can be avoided.
Benefits of Long Distance Running
There are various benefits that can be obtained from long-distance running. Here are some of them:
1. Increase muscle strength
One of the benefits of long-distance running that can be obtained is increased muscle strength. This is because long-distance running can increase the number and size of mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the body's muscles.
2. Burn body fat
Long-distance running can train your body to use fat as an alternative energy source in addition to carbohydrates. This reason is one of the attractions of long-distance running, especially for people who want to lose weight.
3. Have a healthier body
Regular exercise and long-distance running habits can make the body healthier and more resistant to diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
4. Relieve stress
Apart from bringing benefits to physical health, long-distance running is also beneficial for mental health. This is because the physical activity carried out while running can help release endorphins, hormones that play a role in fighting stress. Changes in the atmosphere and scenery that is passed while running will make the mind clear again and stress will be reduced.
So that the benefits of long-distance running can be felt, make sure your physical and mental health is well maintained. In addition, eat a nutritious intake before running long distances. Don't forget to drink enough water to keep your body well hydrated.
Considering the Risks of Long Distance Running
In addition to bringing benefits, there are various risks that long-distance runners need to be aware of, including:
Long-distance runners are generally more at risk of injury, particularly knee injuries and leg fractures. In order to minimize this risk, runners are advised to do a series of exercises and warm up before long-distance running activities.
Increases the risk of heart attack
Although it can make the body healthier, long-distance running can also increase the risk of a heart attack. This may be related to the increased or heavier cardiac workload during long-distance running.
There are studies that show that long-distance runners tend to have shorter life spans than short or middle-distance runners. However, this study has not been able to explain the causes in detail.
In response to this, researchers recommend avoiding strenuous exercise for more than an hour nonstop. Also try to jog at a slow to medium tempo, about 2-3 hours per week.
To get the benefits of long-distance running and avoid the risks, it is recommended to do a series of preparatory and warm-up exercises before running. Start a long distance run by running slowly while gradually increasing the speed and distance covered.
In addition, also do interval training to increase running speed. Interval training is done by combining high-intensity exercise and low-intensity exercise alternately. In other words, sprinting is interspersed with slow running.
Don't do long distance running carelessly and avoid forcing yourself to run long distances if your body condition doesn't allow it. You are advised to consult a doctor before starting to run long distances to minimize the risks.