Advices from Oren – cardiologist and runner

Dr. Oren Iancovici is a cardiologist, general manager of ARES Interventional Cardiology and Interventional Radiology Centers and a marathonist. He will run the 42 km of mountain trail, also to draw attention to the importance of running for heart health.

Here are some of Dr. Iancovici’s advice for beginners and not only from a cardiologist perspective, as well as from an experienced runner.

1. Run constantly! Beneficial effects on health are scientifically proven. A constant physical activity, which brings the pulse between 100 and 130-150 beats per minute for 45 minutes, reduces cardiovascular risk and prolongs life. This is because sport lowers the risk factors for cardiovascular disease: the blood pressure drops by 20 points, and blood glucose decreases the day after the run. In addition, sport itself urges you to have a more balanced lifestyle where you want to give up fat food, smoking, etc. Run at least four times a week to see results!

2. Measure your effort! There are voices in the medical world that say that intense physical activity, such as a mountain marathon, for example, can harm your health if you do not care. This is because the intense physical effort increases the level of lactic acid in the body and the overall acidity, decreases the physiological pH and leads to more rapid accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels and calcium on the bones. To avoid such a result, you need to know to dose your effort accordingly, to know when it is too much. Runs a few marathons each year. And at trainings run a little slower than you could run at that time. Do not force yourself!

3. Sleep before running! Besides being very healthy to sleep eight hours a night, you will notice a difference in physical effort if you sleep at least six hours to eight. If you do sports in the morning, make sure you have a restful sleep the night before.

4. Take care what and when you eat! Do not eat too much in the morning, before physical activity. If you do, it increases the risk of you not feeling well during the running. If, however, you want to eat, you have to choose something right – a slice of bread, a little cheese. Each runner will know, over time, what’s coming to him: a banana can be a good option for someone, but it can cause nausea and bloating to another runner. If you want to run 10 km, you do not have to eat, morning food does not give you extra energy. Instead, it’s very important what you eat after running. A good choice is dairy: yogurt, milk, cheese, in small quantities. Every two to three days, eat protein, fewer carbohydrates, and generally something light. If you made significant physical effort, you can eat a banana or half a banana and grain yogurt after running. It is important not to eat immediately after you make the effort, first drink water, take a shower, and after half an hour you eat.

5. Drink water before running, not during the race. If you are talking about 8-10 km of light running, your body can endure if you drink water before your physical effort. If you drink while running, you risk spoiling the acid-base balance of your body. The optimal quantity you need to drink, about 20 minutes before running, is 500-700 ml of water. However, do not ignore the signs of dehydration. Every person has a higher or lower threshold for dehydration, but if outside are 40 degrees Celsius, you will reach it faster. If your mouth dries, you start to sweat excessively, your head hurts, you feel very hot, then it is time to stop and drink water because you have dehydrated.

6. Do not forget about warming up! If you run slowly, five minutes of light stretching exercises are enough. If you are preparing for a marathon, it is absolutely necessary to do half an hour of stretching and exercises that increase your pulse. It is not good to start the run with the level of normal pulse from the resting state to a very alert peace run. The body adjusts, but you risk two things: either a stretch or rupture if the muscles are not warm or miss the wanted result because the firsts kilometer, if not warmed up, will take you longer to cover.

7. You need to know when to stop! Sometimes, the reasons we want to stop running out are purely psychological. But there are times when there are serious physical problems that can endanger life. There are very clear symptoms that can indicate a medical problem: chest pain, such as angina, palpitations – if the pulse rises above 200 beats per minute (normally a runner can reach 150-170), dizziness that can indicate severe dehydration. In all these cases you must stop immediately and ask for help. Sometimes, significant stomach ache can be a reason to stop, because you can’t know if it’s a heart attack or a digestive problem. It is safer not to risk, to stop and ask for help.