Are ultramarathoners healthier than shorter-distance runners?

WASHINGTON – Moderate exercise is healthy and a part of many people’s New Year’s resolutions, but is more exercise necessarily healthier?

“We know that moderate levels of exercise are healthy – we don’t know exactly what happens as you get to the other side of the curve,” said Dr. Martin Hoffman, a professor at the University of California – Davis. He is teaming up with researchers at Stanford to take a closer look at 1200 ultramarathoners.

Ultramarathoners are healthier than the general population, Hoffman says. While a lot of them do sustain injuries, they don’t seem to get more injuries than shorter- distance runners.

“Another interesting thing that we found is that is it the younger and less experienced ultramarathon runners who tend to be at risk for injury,” Hoffman says.

Researchers hope to study these runners for 20 years.

You can read the full initial study here.

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