Sacramento Running News

Running news and gossip from in and around Sacramento

Working Out for Two

November 11, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

pregnantexerciseThere is a growing body of evidence regarding the link between improved brain health and exercise.

Now, there is new research that indicates this benefit extends to babies in the womb.

In a recent study (abstract), the babies of women who exercised through pregnancy were born with more mature brains than those born of sedentary women.

Further study will be required to discover whether this effect continues through the child’s development or if the difference is temporary.

Read more about it in the LA Times.


Your Brain Wants to Go For a Run

May 07, 2012 By: John Blue Category: Science

Your brain wants to go for a run.

By now, we’ve all read Born to Run and maybe some of the science behind the assertions in McDougall book.

Generally, it turns out we humans have many physiological features indicating that running (as apposed to walking or sitting in an office chair) was a significant driver in our evolutionary past.

But now that we no longer benefit from our ability to hunt down the occasional antelope, why do we still like to run? (I’ll assume that since you are reading this, you do like to run.)


Mind Your Mind

February 20, 2012 By: John Blue Category: Science

Your brain is in charge.

There is a growing body of evidence in support of the theory that your brain is the limiting factor in your running performance. This article from the Globe and Mail, sent to me by alert reader Chris, describes yet another study that reinforces this theory.

What was intriguing to me about this study is that it gives some indication that not only can you trick your brain into increasing your VO2max, but that the effects are apparently enduring.

Researchers took several athletes and tested their VO2max using a traditional protocol–slowly ramping up the pace of the treadmill until the athletes oxygen uptake hit a plateau.


Exercise Makes Kids Smarter, Too!

September 15, 2010 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

In a recent post, I wrote about the connection between brain health and physical fitness. Now, there is yet even more evidence for keeping kids active. In two separate studies of children and physical fitness, researchers demonstrate the link between fit children and smart children.

One study demonstrated improved performance by the fitter children (identified by a treadmill test) and connected that with actual physical differences that show up in MRI scans of the brains of the kids .

Meanwhile, a separate study (by some of the same researchers) found a similar connection between working memory in children and the size of the hippocampus. Previous research has shown that exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus, but this study linked working memory, exercise and the size of the hippocampus in children.


Exercise Makes You Smarter!

August 04, 2010 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

You may have heard the old (and by old I mean ancient) expression: A sound mind in a sound body.  Or, as the Romans said, way back in Roman times, Mens sana in corpore sano. Well, according to some recent research findings, it turns out the two really are linked.  An article in Health Day states:

People with the highest cardiac output for their body size (cardiac index), meaning those with the greatest blood flow from their heart, tended to have more brain volume, which generally indicates a healthier brain.

In fact, the researchers said that people with the lowest cardiac output showed nearly two more years of brain aging than did those with the highest cardiac output.


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