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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Running, Evolution and Using Your Brain Wisely

“If you must walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death….just don’t stop.”- Winston Churchill
In reply to Secretariat’s response to Monday’s post: Scott Jurek won 7 consecutive WS 100’s. No horse won 7 consecutive Tevis Cups. Tim Twietmeyer completed 25 WS100’s in the top ten. No horse completed 25 Tevis Cups (not even close, let alone top ten). The human species are tough. Our physiology accounts for our endurance ability.

From Secretariat:
Ok Frank is baiting me hear so I will reply.  First let me say I think comparing Humans and Horses is useless. But since we are having fun hear I will give the horses side. In 2011 the winning time for the horse was 10 hrs and 31 min. Human was 15 hrs and 34 min, 2010 Horse 14:59 man 15:07 209 horse 15:05 man 16:24. Oh buy the way the horse was carrying up to 25% of his body weight. The oldest horse to win the Tevis was 16 that would be 54 in man years.  In 1976 the great American horse race was held 3200 miles in 99 days across America. 54 horses finished. Oh and they were carrying up to 25% of there body weight. Frank likes to discount the weight as  he says humans were not evolved to be mules. Well neither were horses. They evolved to travel long distance in search of food and water. But guess what happen man found if they road a horse they could travel further and faster then on there two feet.
  Did you know the first illustration of heart disease was a CT scan of an Egyptian prince’s sarcophagus?  Actually this mummified person was a daughter that likely hung around the palace all day long with no need to do much and did not have to exercise. What does this have to do with anything? The only point is that if you were royalty in the olden days it likely wasn’t good for your health. Since you’re not royalty this may interest you.
.As you may know, we humans have special features in our heads that allow us to keep our head still while running. Further, our physiology without any conscious effort allows our eye muscles to keep one’s gaze stabilized and is fundamental to our system. Further. It is our arms and butts that also help to stabilize our head. When we run our head wants to pitch forward which explains why we have lost a lot of musculature of the upper body. Compared to the chimpanzee, our trapezius muscle is puny. The chimp has also has an atlanto-clavicularis muscle that enables them to climb much more effectively than us. More specifically, their upper body is much more developed and stronger than ours.
So we gave up climbing because of walking and running.  As it turns out, we use our arms to stabilize our heads by pumping our hands.  So the force that causes our head to pitch forward also causes our arm to fall-the trailing arm, the arm on the side when our leg hits the ground. To summarize, evolution (arms, legs, and butts) muscles, ligaments allow us to keep our head still while stabilizing our vision so that we can run efficiently and effectively. Likely, we humans started running maybe 2 million years ago and running is a fundamental development in our biology and who we are.
Also, we have enlarged noses. The physiology of the nose allows us through the mucous membrane to exchange heat and moisture. By having this turbulent airflow inside our nose, there’s extra contact between air from the outside world entering the nose and our mucous membranes. This enables us to be extremely efficient at humidifying and warming air as it comes in, and extremely efficient at capturing that humidity on the way out so that we don’t dehydrate.
Running, it appears, is very important for the evolution of hunting since it allowed early humans to hunt which then helped release a constraint on brain size. It wasn’t until after hunting and after running that human brain sizes started to increase. So now that you have a bigger brain, take advantage and start running. Yesterday, Secretariat, Farah, Madhu and I ran to Cool. Carrie met us there and we all ran back to my home for about 16 miles give or take.
 For more detailed information re. human evolution consult Daniel Lieberman and Dennis Brambles’ paper in the journal Nature on “The Evolution of Running.”
Remember, keep moving and run for your life.


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