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Synchronizing Gait with Cardiac Cycle Phase Alters Heart Rat... : Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise

Finally, if diastolic stepping is truly advantageous for exercise performance, we wondered if there is any natural tendency for elite runners to step diastolically without prompting. We observed that 3 of the 10 subjects stepped accurately at the diastolic target timing (45% ± 15% RRI) during a substantial portion of their final, unprompted (silent) control period (e.g., see Fig. 2B). In one of those cases, the subject was guided to systolic step timing during the final prompted period but naturally reverted to stepping during diastole when the auditory prompt was removed. By comparison, none of the subjects stepped at a consistent systolic phase during the free stepping control stages. These anecdotal observations are also consistent with the findings of earlier authors, including Niizeki (10), which suggested that the heart automatically adjusts its timing, when HR = SR, to prevent ventricular systole from coinciding with maximal peripheral skeletal muscle contraction.

Eye movements take edge off traumatic memories: Human study investigates neurobiology of widely used yet controversial psychotherapy technique -- ScienceDaily

Investigating the neurobiological mechanisms underlying EMDR in healthy men and women, Lycia de Voogd and colleagues found that both side-to-side eye movement and a working memory task independently deactivated the amygdala -- a brain region critical for fear learning. The researchers show in a second experiment that this deactivation enhanced extinction learning -- a cognitive behavioral technique that reduces the association between a stimulus and a fear response. The reduced amygdala activity is thought to be a consequence of less available resources since they are dedicated to making eye movements.

Running } endocannabinoids } dopamine } motivation?

The researchers also examined the role that endocannabinoids play in this process. Endocannabinoids, brain chemicals that resemble the active ingredients in marijuana, play key roles in many brain processes. Here, Dr. Cheer and his colleagues found that endocannabinoids essentially open the gate that allows the dopamine neurons to fire. When the researchers reduced the level of endocannabinoids, the animals were much less likely to move to avoid shocks.

Strategic fasting improves race times

In this particular study, both groups actually consumed the same amount of carbohydrates, but the sleep-low group ate all of theirs between their morning and afternoon sessions while the control group also had carbs after their second workout. Both groups completed a test triathlon to assess their fitness and then a second one three weeks later to determine the effectiveness of the training method. The sleep-low group had improved their running times on the 10-km segment by an average of 75 seconds while the control group showed no improvement. The sleep low athletes also lost about 3 pounds of body fat while the control group stayed the same.

Starving for light – henry copeland – Medium

Without seeing a 30 minute dose of bright light each morning, your circadian clock can derail, affecting everything from gene expression to hormonal ebbs and flows to testosterone levels to virus virility to brain waves to immunity to REM patterns to fertility to heart rates to hunger to cancer.

Running as a Key Lifestyle Medicine for Longevity. - PubMed - NCBI

Running is a popular and convenient leisure-time physical activity (PA) with a significant impact on longevity. In general, runners have a 25%-40% reduced risk of premature mortality and live approximately 3 years longer than non-runners. Recently, specific questions have emerged regarding the extent of the health benefits of running versus other types of PA, and perhaps more critically, whether there are diminishing returns on health and mortality outcomes with higher amounts of running. This review details the findings surrounding the impact of running on various health outcomes and premature mortality, highlights plausible underlying mechanisms linking running with chronic disease prevention and longevity, identifies the estimated additional life expectancy among runners and other active individuals, and discusses whether there is adequate evidence to suggest that longevity benefits are attenuated with higher doses of running.

Brain Activity Alternates While Stepping - Neuroscience News

The researchers found that activity in the 20-30 Hz (beta) range alternated between the left and right STN when the opposite foot touched the ground and the other foot was to be raised. The introduction of a metronome synchronized to the cartoon steps improved participants’ accuracy and enhanced their STN beta activity accordingly.

Running helps brain stave off effects of chronic stress: Exercise protects vital memory and learning functions -- ScienceDaily

"Exercise is a simple and cost-effective way to eliminate the negative impacts on memory of chronic stress," said study lead author Jeff Edwards, associate professor of physiology and developmental biology at BYU. Inside the hippocampus, memory formation and recall occur optimally when the synapses or connections between neurons are strengthened over time. That process of synaptic strengthening is called long-term potentiation (LTP). Chronic or prolonged stress weakens the synapses, which decreases LTP and ultimately impacts memory. Edwards' study found that when exercise co-occurs with stress, LTP levels are not decreased, but remain normal.

Feet feats and fleet minds: lessons from Alex Hutchinson’s new book Endure

Alex Hutchinson’s excellent new book Endure poses an age-old question. What matters more for athletic achievement — mind or body? It takes a dozen fascinating chapters to get fully there, but Hutchinson’s ultimate answer is simple: yes.

Sound localization: Where did that noise come from? -- ScienceDaily

"We humans find it difficult to assess, either visually or acoustically, how far away an object is from us," Wiegrebe says. "Our visual system makes use, among other things, of the phenomenon of parallax. When we move, the apparent position of an object that is closer to us moves more within our visual field than an object located further away. This relative motion provides information about the relative distance of the two objects. Localization of sounds is particularly challenging when the nature of the sound source is not clearly defined. It is not that difficult for us to estimate our distance from a speeding ambulance when we hear its siren. But when the sound is unknown, we cannot tell whether we are hearing a faint sound close by or a louder sound further away.

Midbrain 'start neurons' control whether we walk or run -- ScienceDaily

The researchers identify populations of 'start neurons' and show, for the first time, how the two regions in the midbrain can act both in common or separately to control speed and to select context dependent locomotor behaviours. "By identifying the midbrain 'start' neurons we complement a previous study where we found 'stop cells' in the brainstem that halt locomotion. Together, the start and stop cells define the episodic nature of locomotion," says Ole Kiehn. The study breaks new grounds in locomotor control and is important for understanding the normal brain function in mice. And the authors believe that the results might benefit humans with disabled locomotion as well.

Use it or lose it

“I usually put this in more obscene language,” van Loon says, “but you can mess up a lot more in one week than you can improve in six months of training.”

The Running Bubble Has Popped. (You Couldn’t Hear It in New York.) - The New York Times

“Back when you could enter a road race for $10 and you could enter a marathon for $25, the sport really had no appeal or very little appeal for for-profit businesses,” Stewart said. “But then we moved into an era where people would pay $85 for a half and $135 for a marathon. That’s when you really had all the for-profit groups, and it just transformed the model.” Stewart specifically cited the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon race series, which put a heavy focus on the social experience of running events and charged high prices for it. (Fees for races in its 2017 Las Vegas race series are $79.99 for the 5K up to $179.99 for the marathon.)

Smiling Makes You a More Efficient Runner | Outside Online

During the runs, the volunteers were instructed to smile, frown, relax their hands and upper body (by imagining, for example, that they were carrying potato chips between their thumb and forefingers without breaking them), or just think their usual thoughts. The results more or less supported the benefits of smiling. Running economy was a little more than 2 percent better when smiling—an improvement that’s comparable to what you see in studies of weeks or months of plyometrics or heavy weight training.

Strength is Money in the Bank | Mark Rippetoe

All the “cardio” in the world will do nothing to maintain your muscle mass, while effective strength training both grows muscle mass and keeps your heart and lungs in shape. If you have enough sense to know you must devote some time to exercise, strength training is the far more logical way to spend that time.

How Exercise Might Increase Your Self-Control - The New York Times

Most of the women gained a notable degree of self-control, based on their questionnaires, after completing the walking and jogging program. (In this experiment, they were told they were training for better fitness.) But the increases were proportional; the more sessions a woman attended or the more her average jogging pace increased, the greater the improvement in her delay-discounting score. These gains lingered a month after the training had ended, although most of the women had tapered off their exercise routines by then.

Yes, Time Really Slows Down When You’re Running Hard | Runner's World

In the hardest effort, they thought they were done after about 1,025 seconds on average (a bit longer than 17 minutes), a time warp of about 15 percent, most of which happened in the last (and most painful) half of the effort. The 30-second bike test, on a much shorter timescale, produced similar results.

What Makes a Running Stride Efficient? | Runner's World

“It is therefore recommended that runners and coaches be attentive to stride parameters (lower duty factor, shorter ground contact time and shorter stride length) and lower limb angles (more vertical shank and plantarflexed foot at touchdown, and a smaller range of motion of the knee and hip during stance) in part to optimise pelvis movement (minimal braking, vertical oscillation, and transverse rotation), and ultimately enhance performance.”

How walking benefits the brain: Researchers show that foot's impact helps control, increase the amount of blood sent to the brain -- ScienceDaily

"New data now strongly suggest that brain blood flow is very dynamic and depends directly on cyclic aortic pressures that interact with retrograde pressure pulses from foot impacts," the researchers wrote. "There is a continuum of hemodynamic effects on human brain blood flow within pedaling, walking and running. Speculatively, these activities may optimize brain perfusion, function, and overall sense of wellbeing during exercise." "What is surprising is that it took so long for us to finally measure these obvious hydraulic effects on cerebral blood flow," first author Ernest Greene explained. "There is an optimizing rhythm between brain blood flow and ambulating. Stride rates and their foot impacts are within the range of our normal heart rates (about 120/minute) when we are briskly moving along."

An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life

hour for hour, running statistically returns more time to people’s lives than it consumes. Figuring two hours per week of training, since that was the average reported by runners in the Cooper Institute study, the researchers estimated that a typical runner would spend less than six months actually running over the course of almost 40 years, but could expect an increase in life expectancy of 3.2 years, for a net gain of about 2.8 years.

Why athletes will treat the brain like a muscle

As athletes, we’re at the point of marginal returns from physiological sports enhancement,” says Brad Stulberg, journalist, columnist and co-author of the upcoming book “Peak Performance.” “So the next legal [non-doping] frontier is the mind.”

Running and emotional regulation

Before watching the film clip, some of the 80 participants were made to jog for 30 minutes; others just stretched for the same amount of time. Afterward, all of them filled out surveys to indicate how bummed out the film had made them. Bernstein kept them busy for about 15 minutes after that, and surveyed them again about how they were feeling. Those who’d done the 30-minute run were more likely to have recovered from the emotional gut-punch than those who’d just stretched — and, her results showed, the people who’d initially felt worse seemed to especially benefit from the run.

What Ultrarunners Think About When They Run | Outside Online

Christensen says runners who appreciated the social nature of the endeavor and those who were able to sit with—and not fight—their pain had the best days. “Thoughts of gratitude—realizing you’re a part of this broader ultrarunning community, that everyone is in it together—proved to be really common and important,” she says. “Also, this notion of radical acceptance: when a runner accepts their pain, it’s very freeing. You can be in pain without suffering. Pain is an objective sensation. The runners who are able to say ‘this dark spot won’t last forever’ do really well.”

Sustained aerobic exercise increases adult neurogenesis in brain -- ScienceDaily

The results indicate that the highest number of new hippocampal neurons was observed in rats that ran long distances and that also had a genetic predisposition to benefit from aerobic exercise: Compared to sedentary animals, HRT rats that ran voluntarily on a running wheel had 2-3 times more new hippocampal neurons at the end of the experiment. Resistance training had no such effect. Also the effects of HIT were minor. To conclude, only sustained aerobic exercise improved hippocampal neurogenesis in adult animals.

Human skull evolved along with two-legged walking, study confirms -- ScienceDaily

To make their case, Russo and Kirk compared the position and orientation of the foramen magnum in 77 mammal species including marsupials, rodents and primates. Their findings indicate that bipedal mammals such as humans, kangaroos, springhares and jerboas have a more forward-positioned foramen magnum than their quadrupedal close relatives. "We've now shown that the foramen magnum is forward-shifted across multiple bipedal mammalian clades using multiple metrics from the skull, which I think is convincing evidence that we're capturing a real phenomenon," Russo said. Additionally, the study identifies specific measurements that can be applied to future research to map out the evolution of bipedalism. "Other researchers should feel confident in making use of our data to interpret the human fossil record," Russo said.

How Exercise Helped Me Stop Drinking | Fitness Magazine

What's a sure way to convince yourself you don't have a drinking problem? Waking up at 5 a.m. every Saturday for training runs. Being productive and accomplished gave me a free pass to reward myself and celebrate into the wee hours of the morning. I tried to manage and control my drinking via my "work hard, play hard" motto, but then came my early 30s and four small children. My husband often worked at night, which left me flying solo with the kids. I'd laugh with my other mom-friends about drinking a bottle of wine to cope with the stress. What I didn't share was that I hated who I was when I drank. And I certainly didn't tell them about the blackouts and intense anxiety that came with it.