#WHOOPEd Weekly Digest, Vol. 13
Is there an ideal running stride? Plus a biomarker to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome and a video game to improve soccer players’ on-field performance.
Monday, July 31
An Olympic Marathoner’s Take on the Perfect Running Stride
- Jared Ward, a statistician from BYU who finished 6th in last year’s Olympic Marathon performed a study on both experienced and inexperienced runners.
- Overall, participants from each group tended to burn less energy by sticking with their preferred natural strides.
- Results indicated that in a long-term effort to reduce injury, many runners can afford to shorten their stride with minimal extra energy burned.
- Overall, Ward says “Enjoy running and worry less about what things look like.”
Tuesday, August 1
How to Build Resilience in Midlife
Mental and emotional recovery is easy to improve as a child, but what about as an adult? Here are 7 tips to help you “think of resilience as an emotional muscle that can be strengthened at any time.”
- Work on being optimistic and surround yourself with others who are.
- “Rewrite your story” and try to view stressors as a method to inspire better performance.
- Don’t blame yourself for every mistake–acknowledge other contributing factors. Not everything is personal.
- Remember your successes and the challenges you’ve overcome in the past.
- Giving support to others when they are in need allows you to better handle your own adversities.
- Realize you can’t eliminate stress, and try to take breaks from it instead. Walks, meditation, a social lunch, anything to clear your head.
- Get out of your comfort zones and put yourself in challenging situations from time to time. This will better equip you to handle them in the future.
Wednesday, August 2
How Soccer Players Are Getting Smarter On the Field With Brain-Training Video Games
- 20 years ago, a psychologist in the Israeli Air Force discovered that a video game called Space Fortress helped pilots with their in-flight decision making.
- The same principals of memory and spacial recognition can apply to many team sports.
- In 2015, the makers of a current version of the game, called IntelliGym, were awarded a grant of $2.2 million from the European Union to build a version of it that applies to soccer.
- Several Dutch junior teams have started implementing the game as part of their training in order to gain a “Moneyball” like edge and compete with more affluent clubs.
- Research from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s department of human movement sciences suggests players who use the game improve at a much faster rate than those who don’t.
Thursday, August 3
Why Sitting at Your Computer All Day Can Wipe You Out
How is it that sitting at your office desk all day can make you physically tired?
- Per Dr. Steven Feinsilver, director of sleep medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, NY, the human body handles mental stress in a similar manner as physical stress. The brain also needs roughly 20% of the total oxygen the body takes in–brain function requires actual physical work.
- When people you interact with discuss how tired/stressed they are, it can carry over to you. “Emotions are pretty much contagious,” according to clinical psychologist Dr. Curtis Reisinger.
- The process of creating emotional responses to what’s happening around you takes a physical toll as well.
- In order to avoid becoming overly fatigued mentally, Dr. Feinsilver recommends staying well hydrated, as well as getting up and moving around about once every half hour.
Friday, August 4
Blood biomarkers may help diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome
- Very little is known about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and how to treat it.
- Stanford University researchers screened blood from 192 people with CFS for cytokines, biomarkers the immune system uses to regulate inflammation.
- When compared to 392 people without the condition, 17 cytokines were found to rise in relation to the severity of the person’s CFS.
- It’s not yet known if the cytokine increase is a cause or a result of CFS, but it’s a step in the right direction towards finding a way to treat it.