adidas la trainer sale Live Q chat with David Raichlen on exercise and happiness
40 years of injury free running is a great accomplishment! Your question is an interesting one. That part of the lecture really began a discussion about how evolution can overcome these kinds of problems (with mental rewards).
But your injury question is a hot topic in paleoanthropology. There is a school of thought that suggests we ran a bit differently than many of us do today. This leads to the barefoot running debates which I’d be happy to talk about if you have questions on that topic.
Yes, there are many techniques that folks have used to shift their form. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a metronome set at a high rate (180 beats per minute) and use that to control your step rate (match your footstrikes to the beats). At that high of a step rate, you will have to mid foot strike. Barefoot running achieves the same effect because landing on your heel when barefoot is painful, and you will quickly learn to land on your mid foot. But, as you said, it is not for everyone, and folks should start very slowly if they are interested in trying it out.
by Evelia Martinez 11/8/2013 7:15:21 PM
In terms of improving your mood, most studies show that any aerobic exercise will work. The most important thing to do is find the one you like. Soccer could work, but depending on how you play, you may be moving into very high intensities at times. One other point that I did not discuss in the lecture is that there can be social aspects to these improvements in mood. So if you exercise in groups, that can increase your enjoyment and help you stick with an exercise program.
by Evelia Martinez 11/8/2013 7:28:59 PM
Thank you for a fascinating and fun lecture on Wednesday. The research you reported focused on endocannabinoids and mood change. Have you looked at other possible biophysiological correlates of exercise? We used to just say, “Get’s your circulation going.” Could there be something holistically pleasurable about the coursing of the blood and/or lymph through your veins? (Some stimulation of proprioceptors lining the vessels, for example?) I wonder also about acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, which is also associated with learning and memory as I understand it. Positive vestibular stimulation will increase secretion of serotonin, so running, swimming, skiing, dancing would all give that effect as well. In other words, do we risk taking the “active ingredient” approach to understanding the effects of exercise, thus missing the larger picture?
by Stuart Moody 11/8/2013 7:32:15 PM
That’s a great question. You are very right that the search for the roots of the runner’s high has led to a bit of active ingredient work. There are several neurotransmitter systems responsible for rewards and many times they work together. For example, endorphins and endocannabinoids can work in concert and enhance the effects of each neurotransmitter. So,
I think of this study, and this work, as the beginning, rather than the final answer on the topic. We are having discussions about how to explore other neurotransmitter systems in humans and other taxa and hope to continue this work to shed more light on the complexity of the system involved in these exercise induced mood changes.
by Evelia Martinez 11/8/2013 7:36:13 PM
Thanks for your question! That’s the basic problem we face, as a society. There is little incentive to get out the door and move our bodies, which has created many of the health problems we face to day. I think we can start to address this by encouraging more exercise as parts of daily life. Making it easier to walk or bike for commutes, or creating walking paths around businesses so people can have walking meetings. If more people experience the mood changing effects of exercise, then we know that will lead them to stick with an exercise program. So finding ways to get people to the point where they’ll feel those effects is really our challenge.
by Evelia Martinez 11/8/2013 7:40:55 PM
We would like to expand the sample. When we look at how different species evolved, in terms of their endurance athletic prowess, we tend to classify them into two groups (distance runners vs. non distance runners). These groupings are based on evidence from their skeleton and physiology that suggests they are adapted for long distance running (or not). So, there are many animals that, while active, do not have adaptations for long distance exercise. We would love to look at other animals in that same group (non runners) although they can be difficult to work with. They include critters like opossums, racoons, etc.
by Evelia Martinez 11/8/2013 7:46:14 PM
The first step is always the toughest. When I am dragging a little, I do two things. First, I ask myself when was the last time I regretted going out for a run. I know that once I get out there, I’ll be happy I did. Then I tell myself I’ll just go for a few minutes and if I’m still tired, I’ll turn around (I never do). So, the key is taking the first few steps. And yes, accumulating those short bouts of exercise can increase your aerobic fitness and can increase your mood. A very active area of research these days, but the data look pretty clear at this point.