How Exercise and Recovery Produce Olympic Success

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Today in Rio, CU Boulder’s own Emma Coburn won the Bronze Medal in the Finals of the Steeplechase, a 3000 meter race over barriers and water. To complete the race, competitors run seven and a half laps on a standard 400 meter track. Each lap has five wooden barriers which, unlike hurtles, do not move when runners crash into them. The fourth barrier in each lap is followed by a water pit 12 feet long, and two and a quarter feet at its deepest. In a single race each runner encounters 35 barriers, including the 7 water pits.

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Running and injury prevention – it’s all in your head

Exercise is an important part of healthy living. Our Exercise Science series explores the science behind exercise, keeping you up to date on the latest findings from the experts. 

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So perhaps I exaggerated with this title, but “it’s all in your nervous system” wasn’t quite as sexy. The truth is, your nervous system is the driver of your body. Most people forget this and just focus on the muscular system. As a yoga therapist and lifelong runner, I see plenty of people plagued with running injuries. I myself was slotted to undergo the knife twice (and twice declined) to treat my Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome and patellofemoral pain (more on what that means later).

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The stress buffering effects of exercise: How running (literally) from your problems can increase your resistance to life’s stressors

Stressful life events can mess with our mental health and leave us vulnerable to depression and anxiety. Yet, not everyone who experiences a stressful event ends up developing a psychiatric disorder. Two people can experience the same traumatic event, such as a natural disaster or loss of a loved one, and have completely different responses. Some people can recover quickly, while others struggle to cope. Are certain people born with a pre-determined ability to deal with stress, or are there other factors that can contribute to an individual’s emotional resilience?

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The exercise evolution: an introduction to the science behind exercise

We all know exercise is good for us. Regular exercise can boost energy and increase physical fitness as well as prevent and treat heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Moving our bodies can help us combat mental illness, stave off age-related mental and physical decline, and improve our ability to think, solve problems, learn, remember, regulate emotions, and cope with stress. We also now know that sitting around for most of our lives can lead to poor health. Simply put, scientists studying the biology of exercise have increasingly shown that we need to exercise in order to be our best, healthiest, happiest selves. Ever wonder why nature molded us in this way? Why is every facet of our physiology seemingly programmed to benefit from exercise? We may be able to shed light on these questions by studying the evolution of our early human ancestors.

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