Category Archives: article

The Science of Positive Thinking

I think I usually have a pretty positive attitude toward life, including how I view the world, my body, my work, and my running. But we have all had those days filled with negative thoughts, and know how one negative thought seems to lead to another in a huge downward spiral.

Recently, I read this article about the science behind positive thinking.

Negative emotions narrow your mind and prevent you from seeing the other options around you. For example, if you feel bad about not exercising or not eating healthy, all you think about is how little willpower you have, how you’re lazy, and how you don’t have any motivation

Positive emotions (joy, contentment, love, happiness) allow you to see more possibilities in your life and open up your mind. In turn, these posibilities allow you to build useful skills and enhance your life.

The article goes on to say that it is important to find things that you enjoy doing and spark these positive emotions. But also to be careful not to put off happiness until you have reached some arbitrary goal. Happiness should be the precursor to success (building your skills), but is also often the result of it.

So, what makes you feel positive? Is it running or other exercise? Reading your favorite book? Talking to your best friend? Mediating? Cooking a delicious meal? Whatever it is… make time for it!

{from — another fav way to feel positive}

I think this is a good reminder that we need to schedule time and energy toward happiness.

For me, exercise is a key to feeling good every day. I feel stronger, it helps me work toward my goals, and eventually see results.

Ryan and I also really enjoy scheduling activities on the weekend, whether it is trying stand up paddle boarding, going wine tasting, or exploring a new place (going camping or hiking). Enjoying the outdoors and being active are things that make us happy.

So tell me, what makes you feel joy, contentment and love?
Let’s focus on those positives.

Better Than Steroids?

I read an article last week about this research being done at Stanford University about a cooling glove that will reduce your core body temperature and muscle fatigue. The work is being done by two biologists at the university, Dennis Grahn and Craig Heller. The work started with Heller and Grahn trying to understand the rapid cooling effect that takes place in a bear’s paw, and realized that the human palm is also an area of fast heat exchange. Nearly all mammals, in fact, have these built-in networks of veins near the skin’s surface dedicated to cooling the body.

After testing the device on a co-worker who was a gym rat, they found after doing several rounds of pullups, then using the cooling glove, he was able to return to his original number of reps during his next set. When they saw this, they started cooling after every other set. After using the glove for six weeks, his maximum pullups in a workout went from a total of 180 to over 620! That is an amazing improvement!!

Check out a video here:

The researchers now realize that when our muscles begin to fatigue, it is because as our core body temperature increases, some of the one of the enzymes we need for muscle performance begins to change shape and becomes unusable. By cooling down the core temperature we are able to keep these enzymes in their necessary shape for use by the muscles.

Not only could this technology be useful in enhancing athletic performance, but also for sports safety to reduce overheating (hyperthermia) and its associated deaths. To date, the researchers have not seen any negative effect of using the glove on the rest of the body — making it effectively better than steroids.

I think this is very interesting technology and wonder what affect it might have on athletics in the future if it becomes widely available. I also find it interesting that just submerging your hand in ice doesn’t have the same effect. The network of veins in the palm essentially shut off when they are too cold, making the cooling process a “delicate balance”.

What do you think of this technology? How do you think it will impact sports?