Sunday, August 16, 2015

Running Is Good For The Brain

All obsessed runners can sprout off lots of reasons as to why running is good for them. Ranging from weight control to mood enhancement to heart health to over-all well-being. A lot of this we know from personal experience but a lot we pick up from those running magazines that are our literature-of-choice.

In the last Runner's World I got sucked into just such an article and the little paragraph that stood out to me was that 'Running sparks the growth of fresh nerve cells and new blood vessels. This increases brain-tissue volume - which otherwise shrinks with age - helping to maintain brain function.' And last week I had a personal experience that proves that this is true.

I went to the grocery store without my shopping list on Thursday. I realised when I'd gotten into the car and I could have gone upstairs and run the three-dog gauntlet of welcome but that seemed like too much effort. To say nothing of the dog saliva playing havoc with my meticulous make-up. And if you believe I was actually wearing make-up you'd believe anything. Wanna buy a slightly used car? Only one owner who only used the car to drive to church on Sunday.

So I arrived at the supermarket naked - so to speak. With only the memories of the previous evening's list-making to steer me through the aisles with any purpose at all. And as I plodded slowly up and down the aisle - because Thursday is pension day and the shop is usually full of pensioners at that hour and pensioners don't move fast - I could visualise exactly what was on my list. I even picked up a few extras that I realised should have been on there. I walked out of the shop pretty happy with my performance but not entirely convinced that I'd bought everything.

When I got home I unpacked with my list nearby and I'm amazed to report that I missed nothing. I nailed shopping without a list at the age of 52!! And I'm pretty sure I owe it all to my obsessive running habit. And all those baby-fresh, new nerve cells.

The fact that I forgot the list in the first place - well that's beside the point.

And in other news - I'm back up to 70k for my weekly running total. And when I hit 70k I have this delusion that I can eat whatever I want. I swear that's sometimes why I enjoy training such long distances. Son Luke's girlfriend told be about this bakery that I 'really need to check out' and that's all it took for me to organise a little expedition with son #2 and son #3. In the interest of research, of course.

And yes, they did taste as good as they looked.

It was also birthday cake week here. My total for the week is four. All variations on the chocolate-strawberry theme. 

No blood was shed in the making of these chocolate decorations. Lesson well learned.


  1. Well done on the shopping list! Remembering it is always a challenge, as is sticking to it. Love hearing your stories

  2. Your cakes are ridiculously stunning!

    I'm a big list maker but usually forget them and similarly when I go shopping I forget heaps of stuff. Sometimes I'll go for 1-2 things and I'll everything but the 1-2 things I needed! I'm pretty sure my brain goes to mush when I enter any place with too much overhead lighting!

  3. That looks even better than the bloody one!

  4. I popped down to the shop this weekend to buy 4 things without a list... then Dawn called as I got to the shops to ask for a 5 thing!

    It took me some time standing looking into space before I could remember the last thing!

  5. Glad your mileage is being built back up, and I agree with Deborah, your cakes literally look like something on a cake show or something ... so awesome!

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  7. What a great mental performance! I've heard of hearth health and endorphin production related to phisical exercise, not not of brain improvement.

    Congrats on your weekly total training! Love that cake with chocolate and strawberry ... without blood :)

  8. WOW that is an amazing feat! I normally forget my list at home, and then buy a ton of stuff I DIDN'T need, and forget nearly everything I DID need, LOL!!!

  9. I'm sure I'd be in full-blown alzheimers by now if it weren't for my running habit. I hope your chocolate curl casualty is all healed and forgotten by now.

  10. I need to start running more because I can't shop without my shopping list! These days I'm using an app on my phone and cross off what I put in my cart. Now I forget nothing while back in the days I used a written note I often forgot something of the list.

    Your cakes look so amazing. I wish we lived closer together so I could beg you to bake one for me.

  11. I should start running because I was lying in my bed last night in my pjs and I couldn't remember if I'd had a shower or not so I had to get up and have another one just in case. I tend to get obsessed with things and operate on auto pilot and not think about what I'm doing. I knew I'd cleaned my teeth because the toothbrush was wet. As I said. I need to run.

  12. Well done you! I think I might need to run more - I'm incapable of grocery shopping without a list (the hazard is getting distracted and coming home with all sorts of other fun things).

  13. That cake looks amazing! I think I need to up my kms.........forever forgetting to take the list with me (& rarely remember the lot)!!!


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