Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fit kids = Fat brains

Before I whine more about my lame ankle, I have to share a great little article in last week's NY Times Magazine, The Fittest Brains by Gretchen Reynolds (September 19, 2010; the online link I just provided is slightly different than the print version).

Ms. Reynolds summarized several recent studies, each demonstrating improved performance on cognitive or memory tests by "fit" children. And not only that, the studies that evaluated differences in the children brains using MRI technology found that active children actually have BIGGER BRAINS! Well, certain parts of their brains that together affect neurocognition were larger than in "unfit" kids. Another study discussed by Reynolds found that even with just 20 minutes of walking prior to being tested, children performed better (even in unfit kids this held true).

This means that Kadie, There She Runs, is going to have to work extra hard to keep up with her little smartie who finished her first 10k last weekend and is willing to take on another race next month. And, Mel's Little Studs who sprint around the "jogging stroller" are going to outsmart the Tall Mom soon!

It also means we need to be sure to fight to keep sports and physical education in our money-strapped schools.


And in other news, I made it to my second SWIM lesson last night and had a fantastic session. Because my ankle didn't like the flipping around, I focused mostly on arms and got about 1500 meters of swimming in. That is equivalent to me running 15 miles - crazy.

This weeks great tip: When you stroke, your body should roll from side to side a bit. I had been holding my body stiff and steady. Flat, no movement. I now see that this impedes movement and you can move a lot more efficiently by loosening up and letting your body rock a bit. PLUS, it makes it much easier to reach farther with your arms and get more power. I think this greatly improved my stroke. It felt SO good to make progress in the pool and get some exercise.

I'm not sure I can bike with this bum ankle so I'm hoping I can get more pool time in over the weekend. I really don't want to lose this fitness I've built up.UG! I'm so frustrated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What else can I do that doesn't put pressure on my ankle?? 


So yesterday the gimp (me) iced her ankle and lamented this poor luck of ending up with a bum ankle. She was heartbroken after such a successful run over the weekend and did not know what to do. This was NOT part of the plan.

The plan was to download a new 5k training plan to prepare for the Father Joe's Thanksgiving Day 5k in San Diego.

What to do?

Well, immediately after calling a friend to back out of this weekend's Mud Mountain Dam 5k, the sulker's phone rang.


"Yes, Alma! This is Brian checking in with you. How's your running?"

Can you believe the timing? It was rock star PT, Brian, from Madison Park PT! You see, this swollen-ankled baby was supposed to do a final check-out appointment over the summer to close the books on her torn calf and retrained running style (barefoot technique) but never did follow through. During the call, our gimp was able to explain to Brian her recent woes and make an appointment to see him next week. Until then, her instructions were to ice and rest. Maybe all is not lost?

...Ok, time for Baby F to do some laps around the house to grow that little brain...


  1. CUTE!! I sure hope that is the study and thanks for the link love..

    bummer about the ankle.. stationary bike, water jogging with an aqua belt, not sure what else. hope it gets better asap

  2. That is a great article! Let's keep those kids moving!

    Hope your ankle starts feeling better!!!

  3. Ug... that's a bummer that your ankle is still bothering you. Hopefully it feels better soon. If you hit the pool you could use a pull bouy... it's a figure eight shaped piece of foam you put between your legs enabling you to stroke without kicking. I find using a pull bouy really accents that rocking feeling you were talking about.

  4. sucks about the ankle. I can totally relate right now.