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Researchers Look Into Long-Term Risks And Benefits Of Marathon Running

file photo  (Credit:  Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

file photo (Credit: Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By medical editor Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Are marathon runners in better shape long-term than the rest of us?

Researchers at University of California Davis and Stanford looked at 1,200 runners and what they found is at least in the short run these runners are better off. They have fewer visits to the doctor and fewer chronic problems.

When they do go to the doctor, it’s usually something related to an exercise induced injury. Of that group, those who are the most inexperienced tend to have the most problems. What I like about this study is they are going to follow these people for about 20 more years to try and see what longer term effects might be.

Certainly exercise is better than no exercise. And I also tend to be a believer that moderate exercise might be the way to go.

But this study is not condemning those who like to do the extreme work.