It is the season of marathons everywhere, and even as you get ready to wear your running shoes and run for a cause, there is something more important you need to take care of.
You may have trained well for the marathon, but before you enter the run, it is important to make sure your health is in perfect shape. Keeping in mind the tragic and sudden demise of a seasoned marathoner, who was also one of the leading gynaecologists in India, we recommend some very important health checks you should get done before running a marathon.
5 Important Health Checks Before A Marathon
1. Blood Pressure Levels
High blood pressure levels do not often come with warning signs, so it is even more important to do a check some weeks before the run. However, if left untreated, it can cause serious damage to your heart as well as blood vessels, and may even lead to stroke or heart attack.
2. Cholesterol Levels
Some cholesterol is definitely good for your body, as it helps to build cell membranes and also protects the nerve cells of your brain. The cholesterol turns harmful when the excess levels interfere with the flow of blood to your heart and clog your arteries. Even if you have checked it earlier and found the levels satisfactory, do not take it for granted and do another check before the run.
3. Haemoglobin Count
If your haemoglobin count goes low, your body will get exhausted faster, making it difficult for you to work out and eventually run. Some common symptoms are increased levels of fatigue, pain in the muscles and joints as well as a constant lack of energy. While these may not bring in immediate health risks, if your iron levels are low, it could lead to heart problems.
4. Thyroid Hormone
Your thyroid hormones help the flow of energy to your cells, and having a low functioning thyroid hormone could deplete your energy levels faster. As a result, your body will get tired faster and will become overworked soon. On the other hand, if your thyroid levels are high, it can increase your heart rate and also interfere with your cholesterol levels.
5. Cardiovascular Fitness
It is very important to get a proper cardiovascular fitness test done some time prior to your run. The test will assess your body’s ability to absorb oxygen and help supply blood to the muscles. It will also give an indication about the health of your heart, lungs as well as arteries.
When To See The Doctor Before A Run
Whether you plan to run the marathon for the first time or have done it before, do get in touch with your doctor if you:
- Have not exercised regularly for almost a year
- Are 65 or above
- Are overweight or obese
- Are suffering from high blood pressure, any sort of chest pain or discomfort, have a previous condition of heart problems (or a family history of the same) or any known medical condition
- Have been feeling excessively tired or dizzy
- Are a smoker or have recently quit
- Are pregnant