Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Running & Dopamine

Okay this is interesting, I read in the province today, my daily source of facts, that humans are born to run. The subtitle states, "we can beat horses: and it's no fluke it's part of our biology."
I had a sports doctor as a child state that running is horrible on your joints, which I can believe. He then stated that were meant to run on soft surfaces like grass and sand, pavement is supposed to be very hard on your knees.
I figured that I should not bother at all with running but after reading this article I'm inspired. They even went so far to say that the only animals that can out run us in long distances are horses, and in distances longer than marathons, humans can beat horses. Of coarse you have to be highly trained but it is possible. Even further the article states, "Elite human runner can run at the speed of a horse, we're actually phenomenal in terms of our speed. we've underestimated our ability but marathoners have know this."
"physiologically we're born to run, adding there is no other explanations for all the tendons located in the human's leg.
Hmmm I find that interesting. We can run more than horses!!!!

Okay so the next article that I read, and I keep thinking about it, came from the December issue of Psychology Today.
The article is about Dopamine and the role it plays in our brains. The part of the article that hit me was of coarse was the correlation between our desire to eat and how Dopamine is this trigger. Right now I'm struggling not to be addicted to bad food so it's easier when you have a reason you can spin about in your head when the urge kicks in.
Dopamine isn't the pleasure drug they once though it was, they were studying drug addicts and decided that very little of them receive pleasure from the drug, despite a surge. The lifestyle is horrible so why do people become so trapped.
They came up with this new theory called the salience theory. This theory is that were not addicted necessarily to the pleasure but to the jolt of energy we feel from something new and unexpected. When you are the most alert that sense of being alive is more addictive than anything. Here is their example, "If you are hungry you get a whiff of a bacon cheeseburger and your dophamine skyrockets. The chemical will also surge if a lion leaps into your cubicle. Dophamine's role is to shout hey pay attention to this!"
So they are looking at this salience theory for all types of addictions or basically were people do things that aren't in the long run beneficial.
I guess that feeling of alertness is more addictive than anything and being human we all try to find sources for that rush being it healthy or not. I think at night my rush comes from eating so I'm going to have to try to find something more beneficial. Like going to the gym instead of eating, or writing to at least keep my fingers occupied. :)


Kate's Diet said...

BLAH BLAH BLAH! Thats what I think of all those artciles! But whatever motivates you, to DO somthing , sitting around talking about all that crap doesn't burn calories thats why all the "scientists" that research that stuff look like they work at McDonalds, not a lab.

Lisa's Diet said...

Kate, I'm killing myself laughing, I love your perspective. You never fail to point out the bigger picture.

Anonymous said...

HAHA! You guys are too funny!