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Marathon running may boost vision

New research has highlighted the beneficial effects of regular exercise for both vision and cognition


A new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise has highlighted the beneficial effects of exercise on both cognition and retinal vasculature.

German and Swiss researchers studied the cognitive performance and vascular health of 100 marathon runners as well as a control group of 46 age and sex-matched sedentary controls.

They compared the two groups over a six-month period and observed how cognition and retinal vasculature changed before running a marathon, directly after and 12 weeks after the race.

The scientists found that regular exercise primes the central nervous system for acute, intensive bouts of exercise.

Speaking to Runner’s World, Dr Astrid Roh, from the University of Ausburg, shared that endurance running creates vascular adaptations that can improve cognitive performance and the overall performance of the vascular system.

“With our study, we show that a combination of regular, consistent exercise in combination with acute bouts of strenuous exercise is most effective,” Roh said.

Both training for a marathon and the running race itself were found to be effective in enhancing cognition and retinal vasculature.