Saturday, January 28, 2012

Janathon 2012 Day 28: Nondescript running; encouraging article

Janathon 2012 Day 28:Run - 4.75 miles, Time - 54min, Weather - Oh it was grey again and the wind was cold
Sometimes there is little to say about a run: you completed your intended route as expected, the weather was dull,  not many people were out, and you didn’t see anything unusual. It is not that the run was unenjoyable - it is just that it was routine.
I gave myself no special brownie points for my efforts but when I got home I felt quite good and was definitely in a better mood than before started. This to me is one of the characteristics of running: a you almost invariably feel better afterwards. Your mind feels calmer, there is warmth in the body, and a contentment of mood.
To achieve this though you have to put in a certain amount of work. I don’t know the minimum level is but I find it hard to believe the minimum exercise recommendations (for health) are enough. 30 minutes walking is not a lot, especially as the recommendations allow for it to be broken up into ten minute chunks. 
I must admit to having made no progress in finding out how the current health recommendations were arrived at and whether there was any debate about them being enough (by that I mean of course that I haven’t looked) but the issues of thresholds is interesting. I will definitely have to look into it.
On the subject of the health benefits of exercise I have recently come across some more evidence: a very encouraging article in the New York Times on the possibility of exercise being able to delay or combat the onset of Alzheimer’s. There are all sorts of caveats of course: it is a single study with a smallish number of people; it needs to be tested and replicated; it is the beginning of an avenue of enquiry rather than an end point; etc, etc. But if it is true it could be tremendous news. However, as the article says, at the moment is just a study that is  “cautiously encouraging”

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