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#WHOOPEd Weekly Digest, Vol. 13


#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.”

  1. Work on being optimistic and surround yourself with others who are.
  2. “Rewrite your story” and try to view stressors as a method to inspire better performance.
  3. Don’t blame yourself for every mistake–acknowledge other contributing factors. Not everything is personal.
  4. Remember your successes and the challenges you’ve overcome in the past.
  5. Giving support to others when they are in need allows you to better handle your own adversities.
  6. Realize you can’t eliminate stress, and try to take breaks from it instead. Walks, meditation, a social lunch, anything to clear your head.
  7. 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.