Posts Tagged ‘Athletics/Exercise’

Mountaineering Mind Games: What role does Altitude really play?

Ever dreamt of climbing to the roof of the world?  Visions of standing atop Everest?  I recommend reading Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air.  It will test your commitment to the dream.  In Krakauer’s tragically relevant first-hand account of the 1996 disaster on Everest, in which 8 people perished in a blizzard, he discusses at length the games altitude plays with the mind at very high elevations. Krakauer suggests, as many have, that the cause of the high mortality rates during the blizzard that afflicted their expedition were in part due to the madness induced by altitude. With the recent tragedy on the same peak, in which 16 high-altitude workers died in an avalanche, we are reminded of the many dangers of climbing the world’s highest peaks.

Gen. Mountaineer

Just as calling the Spelling Bee a sport seems to degrade the term sport, calling Mountaineering a sport degrades Mountaineering in its own way.

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Does Type of Exercise Matter in Terms of Benefits for Working Memory?

April 27th, 2014 2 comments

It has never been a secret that consistent exercise is one of the keys to living a balanced, reduced-stress, healthy lifestyle.  If you are someone who works out often, you are probably familiar with the feeling of relaxation and lowering of stress that comes after a workout.  It turns out that working out reduces emotional distress and provides resilience to stress and physical exercise plays a role in the prevention of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, depression, and hypertension among others.  Basically, an increase in physical activity and exercise results in an improvement in general status of health.  In general, the more physical exercise done, the greater the health benefits for the individual.


    Researchers at the University of Illinois were interested in comparing the health benefits, specifically on working memory, of differing forms of exercise.  The two forms of exercise the researchers were interested in were acute aerobic physical exercise and resistance exercise.  Read more…

Categories: Memory Tags: ,

Why A Gym Partner is Good for the Body and Mind

November 29th, 2013 10 comments

Do you ever find it tough to motivate yourself to lace up those sneakers and hit the gym or the trail for a run?  Does it make it easier when you have a friend pushing you to join them?  I know for me, if the weather isn’t perfect, there’s no way I’m leaving my room unless someone else is already dressed and ready to go.  Exercising with others may be more beneficial than just helping you get off the couch, with even stronger effects as we age.

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A Concussion may take you out of the game, but what does it mean for your working memory capacity?

May 1st, 2013 10 comments

In the world of athletics, there has been a significant increase of awareness and concern around concussions. With contact sports, athletes are vulnerable to sports-related concussions of varying degrees. Athletic trainers are very sensitive when it comes to diagnosing a concussion, given that any injury to the brain is substantial and should not be overlooked. As an athlete myself, I have witnessed many teammates experience concussions, who have not been able to participate in any sort of physical activity. If concussions have such an impact on an individual’s athletics, one may suspect that such repercussions extend to other aspects of an individual’s life. This article further investigates the impact of sports-related head contacts on working memory capacity.

Working Memory refers to a short-term store that is relevant to the performance of a cognitive task in an activated state. Working memory is crucial to overall cognitive ability and requires a level of attention that ensures memory will be maintained in spite of interference or distractions. Working memory becomes important for an athlete’s optimal performance and physical safety because he or she must focus his/her attention on the game and likewise, maintain task relevant information during distracting events that happen on the field.

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Categories: Memory Tags: ,

The Effects of Running a Marathon on Memory

April 29th, 2013 5 comments

nyc-marathonRegular exercise is known to have many advantages.  In addition to the obvious physical benefits such as reducing the risks of heart disease and obesity, it can also benefit the brain.  Regular aerobic exercise releases endorphins, a naturally occurring opiate, to improve an athlete’s mood.  It also increases cognitive function in healthy adults, including improved working memory and executive functioning (Guiney & Machado, 2013).   Marathon running, however, is above and beyond typical regular aerobic exercise; it is considered the ultimate test of fitness.   The marathon always concludes the Olympic games, seeming to symbolize the pinnacle of athleticism. But to complete a marathon, runners put their bodies through the ringer.  They run more mileage than the human body was probably ever designed to run, all in preparation for the 26.2-mile race.  Though regular exercise has positive effects on both the body and the mind, could running a marathon actually be too much exercise?  Beyond sore muscles, marathon runners often experience tendonitis, torn muscles and ligaments, sprains, stress fractures, shin splints, and other injuries.  But might there also be negative cognitive effects of running a marathon?

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