Sunday, January 17, 2010

Spark on exercise

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned this book which had been mentioned by Frank Forencich.

The book came to me from Amazon a week or so ago and I've been skimming it before reading through properly. It is about the way in which exercise improves your mental performance, memory and psychological well-being.

The focus is on aerobic exercise - because that is where the research is - but he does mention benefits from resistance training.

Anyway, what I found interesting was Ratey's prescription for exercise, which is pretty similar to Art Devany's position or indeed to the routine that Nassim Taleb wrote about.

This is what Ratey says in his chapter "The Regimen":

Today, of course, there's no need to forage and hunt to survive. Yet our genes are coded for this activity, and our brains are meant to direct it. Take that activity away, and you're disrupting a delicate biological balance that has been fine-tuned over half a million years......The ancient rhythms of activity ingrained in our DNA translate roughly to the varied intensities of walking jogging, running and sprinting. In broad strokes then I think the best advice is to follow our ancestors' routine:
  • walk (or jog) everyday;
  • run a couple of times a week; and
  • then go for the kill every now and then by sprinting.

That is a pretty good pattern, similar also to Mark Sisson's blueprint with respect to exercise:

  • Move around a lot at a slow pace
  • Lift heavy things
  • Run really fast every once in a while.


Hans Hageman said...

Kids should be introduced to this kind of material early and as part of their health/science curriculum. I'm almost 52 and the number of people I know from 18 to 68 who get out and move is depressingly small.

Chad said...

Nice Chris.
Seems there is something going on here of importance. Folks seem to be putting this all together! By combining exercise with learning (if it is grasped by the mainstream media) maybe the powers that be in the education world will bring movement back into the curriculum.

Nice post to start the week off!

Marc said...

Very interesting!
I think I will get the book. Thanks as always.

Nassim's article was great. I have some of my own thoughts about it , now that I ran a half marathon out of the blue.

Going to do a post about it soon.