Is it healthy to run a marathon?
Is it possible to overdo it with sports? What are the risks of running 42 km and collapsing at the finish line?
By Prof. Gal Dubnov-Raz, MD, MSc, Director of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Sheba Medical Center
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of marathon runners worldwide, including in Israel. It is estimated that there are currently more than 800 marathon races held around the world, and tens of thousands of runners participate in the largest ones.
In recent years, scientific evidence has mounted about the many health benefits of physical activity. Exercise has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dementia, depression, postnatal depression, obesity, falls in the elderly and several types of cancer.
There is little doubt about the positive health impact of physical activity, but some opinions question whether too much exercise can be unhealthy. Let’s take a closer look at marathon running.