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#WHOOPEd Digest, Vol. 36

By Allison Isham

#WHOOPEd Digest, Vol. 36

Nordic hamstring exercises, the Temin Effect, the fencing response, and is it better to grill, roast or saute your food?

Ever heard of the Temin Effect? Howard Temin won the Nobel Prize for biology work, but was diverse in knowledge, particularly in the arts: “Someone who is trained to see, and thinks about the process of seeing, sees more and sees better.”

  • Biologist Howard Temin won the Nobel Prize “for his work on the discovery of reverse transcriptase.”
  • Temin was a multi-faceted biologist who read philosophy and literature, and participated in a variety of other hobbies.
  • In an article by Gurwin et al., they allude to the “Temin effect” which promotes intellectual promiscuity.
  • Gurwin et. al conducted a study of 36 first-year medical students at the University of Pennsylvania. The students were split into two groups, a control group and an art-training group.
  • The art-training group attended a series of six 90-minute art-observation sessions. Both groups took a pre and post test in “which they describes works of art, retinal pathology and external eye diseases.”
  • The art-training group improved their observation scores from 35-47.9 while the control group declined.
  • Take home point: In our lives, narrow focus can be a detriment to our success. When trying to specialize, don’t forget to explore other hobbies such as reading, hiking, music, etc. Observational details can potentially improve whatever you are looking to specialize in.

Do you sit at a desk all day? Or, as an athlete, do you feel like you want to improve your range of motion? Here are a few pieces of advice for mobility drills and schedule implementation.

  • As we age, mobility and range of motion exercises become a necessity, but are often something we overlook.
  • A majority of the workforce sits at a desk, which can lead to tight muscles and bad posture. Do you stretch a little bit each day? A couple of days a week? When our busy lives control our schedule, it is crucial to find time to relax and care for our bodies.
  • Eric Cressey compiled 10 tips to incorporate mobility into busy schedules, here are a few of the highlights:
  • “Frequency is everything.” Set a block of time each day to stretch and work through the range of motions within your body. It’s 10 minutes out of your day, just put the phone down.
  • If you are the type of person that needs accountability, find a class!
  • If you’re at a desk from 9am-5pm, try to take a break every 30 mins. Whether that may be a quick walk to get water, or a few stretches, it will keep you loose.
  • Breathing. Is. Everything. Literature shows that breathing alone can relax a person, so incorporate breathing exercises into daily routines. Stretching as well.

An athlete who sustains a helmet-to-helmet hit, or a compressed neck on a fall, etc, will often extend or flex their arms post injury. This position is called the “fencing response” and occurs to provide an indicator of injury force magnitude.

  • “In the United States, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs every 15 s, which amounts to 2.1 million incidents annually, not including those that go untreated or related to military engagement.”
  • “Even mild TBI, which accounts for 80% of all cases, can be devastating in persistent neurological dysfunction.”
  • Tonic posturing, or “fencing response,” will occur in sport injuries immediately after impact. Extension and flexion of opposite arms happens despite gravity or position. It is an indicator of injury force magnitude.
  • In a paper by Hosseini et. al., YouTube was used as a data source between July of 2007 and June of 2008.
  • Search terms such as “knocked out” or “concussed” were used. Of 35 videos that met the criteria of “impact to head with a period of unconsciousness,” 66% demonstrated the fencing response.

A sleep study co-authored by Jamie Zeitzer (a Stanford assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences), found “two consecutive nights of less than six hours could leave you sluggish for the next six days.”

  • Struggling to sleep? Or struggling to find the time to sleep? Studies are finding that if you aren’t sleeping, your performance the next day is going to be effected, and for a longer period of time than you might think.
  • A recent Stanford study states “The data set is pretty amazing. We looked at more than 30,000 people over 18 months which came out to more than 3 million nights of sleep analyzed.”
  • “Two consecutive nights of less than six hours could leave you sluggish for the following six days.”
  • “ Results showed that over the first 24 hours, having one insufficient night of sleep is associated with 1.2 percent slower performance on average keystroke timing. Two insufficient nights of sleep are 4.8 percent slower compared to two nights with longer than six hours of sleep each.”

Is it better to grill, roast or saute food? What should we consider with proteins, saturated/poly-saturated fats and more! Explore this article for insight into maximizing nutrients in cooking.

  • When you roast or bake food, vitamin and mineral loss is minimal.
  • When frying food, keep oil heating time to as minimal as possible. Aldehydes are created during this period that have been linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.
  • Boiling food can reduce oxalates. Oxalates in high amounts can contribute to kidney stones forming.

During stressful times, exercise is often the last thing we want to do. However, results of a study from Brigham Young University showed mice who exercised under stress improved memory, with the exercise buffering stress’ negative effects.

  • During stressful times, everyone has different coping methods. Some naturally seek out exercise as an outlet, while others prefer to relax and put exercise on the back burner.
  • A new study published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory found that during stressful time, exercise can improve memory.
  • The study was done with mice. Dr. Roxanne Miller, who led the study, stated that “although mice are not people, we should take this as one more reason to be physically active.”
  • During stressful times, our brain is weakened and our ability to learn and retain information can be hindered. Neuroscientists know that memory and the brain’s capabilities depend, to some extent, on how we live our lives.

Injury prevention doesn’t stop in the athletic training room for some institutions. One university teams with it’s engineering department to return injured athletes to play.

  • A gymnast at the University of Michigan sustained a soft tissue injury of the heel. The common treatment would be a heel cup to help sustain the force of landing, but the gymnast found this uncomfortable and thick.
  • Michigan athletics teamed up with the engineering department to create a custom heel cup.
  • UM Professor Ellen Arruda works with engineering technician Andrea Poli to help Michigan athletes.
  • Previously they created a special batting glove for a baseball player who sustained a fracture in his hand.
  • Arruda states, “There is enormous room for the potential in this field and by building closer relationships between the research arm and athletics, Exercise and Sport Science Initiative (ESSI) plays a critical role in the future of exercise and sport science.”

Looking for a new hamstring exercise? A recent study shows 4 weeks of Nordic hamstring exercises, at high or low volume, can improve hamstring strength.

  • In a study by Presland et al., 20 recreationally active males completed a training to determine eccentric strength.
  • All of the participants completed a two week standardized period of eccentric Nordic hamstring exercise training. From there, 10 of the males participated in four weeks of high volume training, while the other half completed low volume training.
  • Both groups improved hamstring strength, suggesting this excercise should be considered for those looking to improve hamstring strength.

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