Can mental fatigue impair your running performance?

Posted 01/09/2015 | By HealthCorps

A new study investigated whether feeling mental fatigue can affect your running performance, specifically intermittent running performance. The study of ten subjects found that indeed, mental fatigue can impair intermittent running performance. Athletes feel like they are working harder when they experience mental fatigue, and that can diminish their overall effort and their performance.

Is the “health of your dog” the ultimate inspiration needed to get you exercising?

A recent New York Times Well column explored the role that a pet might play in getting you motivated to exercise.  Past studies surprisingly show that dog owners engage in less exercise than people who don’t own a dog.  In one study out of Australia, 25% of dog owners said they never walked their dog.

This new study decided to investigate the bond between dog owner and pet, to see if owners would be willing to undertake a health and fitness regimen for the sake of their dog, even if they were not motivated on their own to initiate exercise.  Thirty two pet owners of overweight or obese dogs visited a veterinarian clinic.  Most of the owners were also overweight or obese.  Half the group was told specifically to watch the dog’s nutrition and monitor their health.  The other half was told that their dogs were overweight and that the pet needed more exercise.  This group was given specific recommendation and prescriptions, which included walking the dog for 30 minutes daily.

The results of the study? The second group that was given specific recommendations, lost weight, as did their dogs.  The other group, which was simply told that their pets’ current weight was “worrisome,” actually began to exercise their pets and themselves.  They walked more often than before and farther distances than before the study began.  They and their pets were thinner.

So what is the take-away message? Concern for a beloved pet, in this case a dog, can indeed be a powerful exercise motivator.

-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach

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