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Get a health check-up before you decide to take up running

Get a health check-up before you decide to take up running

Is running a marathon safe? Can anyone just get up and run the marathon? Is it good for your heart? Are there any precautions you should have keep in mind? These are some of the more common questions that people often have about running in general and the marathon. Dr Aashish Contractor, Medical Director of the Mumbai Marathon and an avid runner give us some tips and pointers.

A person should keep his health profile in mind before taking up long-distance running. People who suffer from any of the following conditions should avoid running:

Uncontrolled chronic diseases: Uncontrolled kidney disease, blood sugar, blood pressure etc.
Unstable Angina: If you have active chest pain also called unstable angina, which means that every time you walk or run you experience some heaviness or discomfort in the chest which resolves once you are seated. Another classic symptoms is, if you feel heaviness at rest .

Systemic illness: If you have any other acute illness like Hepatitis A or E (Jaundice) or Malaria
Mild illness: If you are suffering from fever or any other mild illness.

Chronic conditions: Debilitating disorders such as Arthritis, Spondylosis, Spondylolisthesis, hip injuries etc.
In all these cases it is always advisable to get these conditions under control and consult the right doctor for treatment. It is important to remember that you must recover fully from any illness before you start any exercise regime.

Once you have recovered, remember to begin your training for the marathon gradually. You can’t do it in one day. It is important to understand that if you are attempting to run the marathon after an illness you need not necessarily run longer distances to start with, but can attempt shorter runs initially and gradually increase your pace and distance.

Here are a few tips on how you can start your marathon preparation:
For a beginner, first start by brisk walking. Once you can walk briskly for 30-40 minutes at a stretch and can cover approximately 3 to 4 km in that time, start by adding some running to your programme. In order to help your body acclimatise to the change in your fitness regime alternate between running and brisk walking. Walk for about 3 minutes and run for 1 minute. Gradually increase your running time and decrease your walking time. Once you have conquered the 5-7 kilometre milestone, in about 12 weeks’ time you can train for the half marathon and depending on your inherent fitness level you will be ready for the full marathon in about 20-25 weeks
There is no greater joy than running but just get yourself checked by a good physician before you decide to take up running or for that matter any strenuous physical regime.

 

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