There was a local news story about a Marathoner on a training run that discovered he was having a heart attack. The broadcast said "Long distance running can harm your heart" and by Golly I was like "say What?"
Intrigued to hear more about what they were talking about, they made a valid point about body inflammation and it's impact on heart!
Bottom line there are 'potentially' risks to distance running. It's simple really. Although there are times when some runners jokingly run to eat whatever it is that they want, the fact is that even thin people can get heart disease. Even what is seemingly the healthiest and fit people die in Marathons and sometimes it's a combination of causes that caused the climatic fall of a runner. Sure you think of someone dying on the course it's because they were dehydrated or had some sort of undiagnosed medical problem that triggered the fatality. When in fact that sometimes it is the heart that gives way. This particular marathoner had 100% blockage in his heart. Wow! Curious, Are you one of those Runners where you give yourself permission to eat unhealthy because you run?
Not just atherosclerosis causes heart disease, sometimes inflammation does too.
And Inflammation is created in the body in response to extreme physical activity. NOT JUST RUNNING! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atherosclerosis
So I'm throwing some information out at you. Drive on the debate behind NSAID's (Ibuprofren) and when it's ok to take them and when it's dangerous (for all those on the fence and care about my 2 cents, I prefer to take this well after a race and NEVER before, simply put....all medications force your liver/kidneys to work extra to work the chemical through the body. There is plenty of work for these organs to undergo when we run. Every act of endurance running and endurance exercises causes the body to work hard to cycle through the by products of aerobic activities (carbon dioxide and lactic acid). The stomach shuts down during exercise so it does you no good to try to digest medications during distance runs. I'm going to be the advocate for ice, rest, anti-inflammatory foods and long after your run if you need the help then pop the lowest dose possible of NSAID's to aid in your recovery.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to infection or irritation. We are all familiar with the classic signs of inflammation (swelling, redness and pain) that occur when we hurt ourselves or have some kind of infection. However recent research has shown that eating the wrong foods can cause inflammation within our bodies. In fact being overweight can itself be the cause of inflammation.
Body fat causes inflammation:
The fatty tissues of the body secrete hormones that regulate the immune system and inflammation, but in the case of an overweight individual this can become out of control. Three of the hormones that play a role in metabolism are leptin, resistin and adiponectin.Leptin is involved in appetite control.Resistin is a hormone that increases insulin resistance.Adiponectin lowers the blood sugar by making your body more insulin sensitive.The fact that it is the fatty tissue that produces these hormones makes the fat self regulating, as the hormones should act to bring the increased fat under control. Bodies with more fat will produce more leptin bringing the appetite under control. However in cases where the body is inflamed there is often a problem with leptin resistance, and the self regulation of fat does not occur. Leptin resistance is where to body stops responding to the appetite controlling effects of the hormone.In addition to these metabolism regulating hormones your fatty tissue also produces chemicals that cause inflammation and this can make the problem of leptin resistance worse. This is why obesity can cause an increase of these inflammatory chemicals which in turn inhibit the correct balancing function of the weight controlling hormones. This results in a vicious circle of weight gain causing inflammation which inhibits hormone function thereby causing further weight gain.
Food and inflammation
Another major cause of inflammation in our bodies is the food we eat. Inflammation can be aggravated by diets high in refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils such as those found in margarines, potato chips and baked goods and by diets high in sugars. But food can also be part of the solution to the problem of inflammation.Anti-inflammatory foods, if eaten regularly, can reduce inflammation in the body and bring the problem under control. This page contains a list of anti-inflammatory foods that if incorporated into your regular diet will help bring a balance to inflammation in your body. Try and feature some kind of anti-inflammatory food into every meal that you eat, and eliminate pro-inflammatory foods from your diet all together. People who have done this often describe noticeable relief from previous discomforts and a greater ability to control their weight.Please also remember that exercise is one of the greatest ways to counter inflammation.
Bell PeppersBok ChoyBroccoliBroccoli SproutsBrussels SproutsCabbageCauliflower ChardCollardsFennel BulbGarlicGreen BeansGreen Onions/Spring OnionsKaleLeeksOlivesSpinachSweet potatoesTurnip Greens
Herbs & Spices
BasilCayenne Peppers/Chilli PeppersCinnamonClovesCocoa (at least 70% cocoa chocolate)LicoriceMintOreganoParsleyRosemaryThymeTurmeric OilsAvocado OilExtra Virgin Olive Oil
FruitsAcerola (West Indian) CherriesApplesAvocadosBlack CurrantsBlueberriesFresh PineappleGuavasKiwifruitKumquatsLemonsLimesMulberriesOrangesPapayaRaspberriesRhubarbStrawberriesTomatoes
Nuts & Seeds AlmondsFlaxseed/LinseedHazelnutsSunflower SeedsWalnuts
FishCodHalibutHerringOystersRainbow TroutSalmonSardinesSnapper FishStriped BassTunaWhitefish