The first humans were physically oriented and had to cope with physical work in daily life to survive. In the following many thousand years, humans have developed and adapted heart and cardiovascular system, lungs, muscles and digestive system to the daily demands, which has been physical activity followed by periods of rest and recharging. Thus, the health benefits were developed during all generations and today’s health benefits in marathon training make it even more effective. How to use marathon training for health benefits is about to explore, how we meet our daily demands today, and what we can do better by improving our health.
Our human history
Thus, throughout our history, we have been active in many parts of the day. When we were engaged in farm work, our life was associated with significant physical efforts or when we were hunters and followed the trail to the prey for weeks, we used our endurance. In the last more than 100 years, we have not been forced to be physical active in the same way.
Mechanization of agriculture, industry and high-tech solutions has taken over most of the physical work, and the part of workplaces with sedentary work is dramatically increased.
The Un-healthy Crane Operator
Imagine a crane operator in an industrial harbor, where the big container ships comes in. He sits in his ergonomic crane seat up there in the crane all day doing a great job, by lifting containers from the ships. He uses an electronic joystick with his fingers to move around with hundreds tons of goods. When he takes his car home after work, he might feel tired and immobile because of the sedentary and linear work during the day.
His body has been adapted to sedentary work. In the morning, it will be placed in the car seat to the job, then in the crane seat, then in the car seat home again and afterward probably after being filled with a big meal, spend most of the evening in front of the Flat screen TV in the sofa or in front of the PC.
Since the body by nature adapts to the circumstances it would probably say something like, “you do not fairly use me. So, I am not capable to start the engine and support you with more than low energy, limited movements, and I will also store all the excess energy from the food you eat as fat to later use”. Over time, his body will not support him with more than just to survive the daily routines and there is a lot of fat stored around it. His health begins to weaken.
Health in Today’s Lifestyle
Cars and public transport help us to be less physically active. The technological revolution with computers, Internet, Social Media, flat screens and cell phones also made our free time more sedentary. Our development as humans has not prepared us for challenges of this kind, since our body is designed and built for daily physical activity. Physical inactivity is unnatural and gives us various problems and diseases.
Our food habits and in particular the working life’s more sedentary character is considered as the main cause of what we call lifestyle diseases. In contrast to many other diseases, lifestyle diseases are characterized by that we as individuals in the most practical way are made accountable for our own choices and decisions.
World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health from about 1940 says:” Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and function, and not merely absence of disease and infirmity.”
We could say, the WHO’s health definition builds on the concept that health must be secured before the disease begins. In other words, prevention becomes central in the fight for health. From this, we get a better understanding of why running, in general, has been such a success throughout the western world over the years.
Inadequate dietary habits and lack of movement means that health has been strongly affected by lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. When running has gained so much popularity today, it is particular because it is an easily accessible form of exercise, which includes the physiological requirements to prevention of lifestyle diseases.
From Obesity to Health Benefits
Often is the motivation for running a need to lose weight. Today a fat body is often a sign of laziness, lack of moral and moderation. In our modern world, the predominantly majority have so many resources and so much knowledge available particularly on the Internet. Therefore, the common perception becomes that obesity alone is an expression of lack of discipline and willpower.
Thus, there are more and more demands for moderation, prevention, and proper control over the body. This development among other things culminates in fat tables, pedometers and activity watches, which calculates how many calories you have combusted when you walk or run.
TV programs where we follow groups of “heavy” persons compete during many different physical exercises, where they can prove their discipline and willpower to possibly win the competition.
The most important thing we can do to prevent lifestyle diseases and obtain better health is to decide to do something about it. Optionally join a running club where the main purpose is to have fun while running or just walk. Marathon training can benefit almost every part of your body and it is incredibly effective in making you healthier in many ways.
Health & Stress
Stress is another important health factor. Stress is a state of mental tension and worry because the adaptation responses exceeds. If you in a longer period have been unable to fulfill the expectations from yourself or others in the environment as your workplace, family or friends, you can be stressed. Stress is often referred to as a modern disease because more and more people today suffer from stress to a greater or lesser degree.
We also develop stress programs such as mindfulness to prevent this kind of mental overload. Stress should be taken seriously because it can lead to both mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and various forms of abuse but also physical diseases as raised blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and blood clots, which ultimately could lead to a shorter lifetime. Stress interrupts the body’s energy balance.
The good news is that physical, emotional and mental energies are common about biochemical activities. They interact with each other. Therefore, physical training like running automatically leads to improvements in the emotional and mental state. We could say Stress is a state, not a disease. When you run, you break the stress state. In that way, long-distance running works very preventive to stress, which therefore also can be positive…
If we make a simplification, a runner in good shape goes through three different stages when he runs: The primary physical exertion, when he thinks of getting started triggers a state of stress and tension. Maybe he experiences a degree of unwillingness before the first feeling of well-being occur, because he has to break his comfort zone.
After running for a while follows a Relaxing mental peace, where the thoughts flow freely and the body finds a regular rhythm. After about 40 minutes, he goes into a light meditative state.
Health Benefits – In Marathon Training
The largest physical health benefits In Marathon Training are the huge improvements of the heart, cardiovascular system and lung functions. As runner, you also get time with yourself and the opportunity to direct your focus in some other directions than your daily (stress) routines. To start a marathon training program could do an incredible difference in many people’s everyday life.
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