There is a new article on the Runner’s World website (http://news.runnersworld.com/2012/10/22/activity-linked-to-less-age-related-brain-change/) that talks about a study by Neurology showing that “people in their 70s with higher levels of physical activity have less brain shrinkage than their sedentary contemporaries”.
For me, less brain shrinkage is always a good thing. But I don’t know if I’m going to be able to run in to my seventies. I do feel a lot more confidant that I will be able to swim in to my seventies, swimming having a much lower impact on the body, overall. That’s why I’m cross-training now between swimming and running – it’s all for my brain!
It’s been seven weeks of reading running, swimming, and nutrition articles, and then changing all kind of things about the way I eat. But I’ve dropped eighteen pounds, and the running and swimming are both becoming easier. I can’t believe some of the changes I’ve made to my diet, and the way I’ve been documenting calories, carbs, sodium, potassium, and calcium intake. I’ve really cut down on the sodium, and worked to increase my potassium intake, because moves are supposed to be very beneficial for my heart. I found out I can get just as much calcium from a glass of “kids” calcium-enriched orange juice as I can from a glass of milk – 35% of the recommended daily value. And I like orange juice better anyway. Also, frozen veggies appear to mostly have about one-third less sodium than canned veggies.
Since I ran the 5K I have decided that this is my new “short run” minimum (I have actually begun running two loops of an outdoor park for a total of 6.64K) that I am starting to run twice a week. I have also worked my lap swimming (three days a week) up to 2,000 yards continuous breaststroke, which has really helped me get my breathing regulated.
The magic combination of reducing the calories, while eating right, and increasing the calories burned, is working for me during the first half of the program. I think the second half will be harder, but I’m sticking to the plan.