Marathons are distance running events in sports. Its origins go back to Ancient Greece. It is named after a place where the Greeks defeated Persian invaders. They sent a soldier to Athens to deliver the news of their victory. This soldier ran non-stop for many miles until arriving to carry out his duty before dying of exhaustion. To commemorate his feat, marathons have been held until it became a sporting discipline.
Marathons are different from other running events like sprinting. In stating the obvious, this is a test of endurance. To those who join marathons (sometimes called “Fun Runs”), it is a form of challenge of going the distance or finishing what they started. To some, it is part of their personal “bucket list.” Besides the gratification you may get in finishing a marathon, the feeling of accomplishing something, there are other benefits as well.
One other obvious benefit is it is good for your physical health. As stated before, long-distance running like marathons develop endurance which affects our cardiovascular system. It will improve your heart’s condition, enabling it to function properly and lower blood pressure preventing hypertension and heart attack.
In relation to that, it keeps cholesterol in check and improves your immune system as opposed to a sedentary lifestyle. It can lower the risk of breast cancer (for women) and prevent stroke. Marathons also help improve breathing since it requires you to breathe rhythmically. You need to take in air as you run and this is essential for endurance.
Another benefit is it helps a lot in losing weight. Studies show running burns more calories than any other exercise or activity. The longer the distance, the more calories are burned off and along with that is a decrease in weight (provided you have proper diet). This is recommended also for people who have diabetes (early stages) and osteoporosis.
More on the mental and psychological aspect, it can relieve stress. Through running, your body will be forced exert excess energy and hormones rather than let it build up by lack of activity which may lead to stress.
Furthermore, running marathons can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem because of the sense of accomplishment you will feel. Marathoners do not mind not winning. What matters the most is to finish the race and that along makes them feel like winners.
You can now see why people who train for marathons do not take it lightly. It is about building endurance but in doing so, they are setting themselves up for healthy living because the discipline requires it. But it is not only physically beneficial, but also mentally as well because it makes you feel good inside.
Featured Image Source: Neil Bansil