Running a marathon - the best way to get fit?

Authors Avatar

Running a marathon – the best way to get fit?

What can exercise do for me?

Exercise does more then reduce weight, it can improve both our health and fitness, and should involve using as much of the body as possible.

Exercise has two main benefits:

  • Short term these are the effects that happen during the activity itself and also contribute to the long term benefits e.g. the heart rate will increase, which will increase the flow and pressure of the blood.
  • Long term these are the lasting effects which occur and include the following:
  • Heart becomes bigger, stronger and capable of pumping more blood.
  • Lungs get more oxygen to the muscles.
  • Blood volume increases, therefore more oxygen can be carried.
  • Muscles increase in size and strength, this is called muscle hypertrophy. The muscle energy stores are also improved. This allows the muscle to work harder and longer.

The cardio-vascular system, which is made up of two parts; the heart and the blood vessels, can be improved after just a few weeks of aerobic exercise. The heart responds in the same way as other muscles. This means it will get bigger and stronger, so it can pump more blood with each beat. When the body is at rest, the heart rate is lower, as the heart can pump the same amount of blood with fewer beats.

Join now!

As the bodily systems improve with exercise the amount of oxygen the body needs will increase. This is provided by the lungs which also improve during exercise. The main benefits of exercise on the respiratory system are:

  • The muscles around the ribs become more efficient, making breathing more efficient.
  • The amount of air the lungs can take in will increase.
  • Because the surface area of the lungs has increased, more oxygen can be transferred from the air in the lungs to the blood capillaries.

So if I exercise properly does this mean I will win a marathon?


This is a preview of the whole essay