Sports science, circa 2005, was pretty confident that ice baths accelerate recovery by fighting the inflammation in muscles after a hard workout. The actual evidence that ice baths really hastened recovery was admittedly ambiguous, but the idea that cold fights inflammation seemed self-evident.
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Meditating before running could change the brain in ways that are more beneficial for mental health than practicing either of those activities alone, according to an interesting study of a new treatment program for people with depression.
As many people know from experience, depression is characterized in part by an inability to stop dwelling on gloomy thoughts and unhappy memories from the past. Researchers suspect that this thinking pattern, known as rumination, may involve two areas of the brain in particular: the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that helps to control attention and focus, and the hippocampus, which is critical for learning and memory. In some studies, people with severe depression have been found to have a smaller hippocampus than people who are not depressed.
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Ed Nuttycombe is the winningest coach in Big Ten Conference history, regardless of sport, so he’s had his share of honors over the years. But the retired UW men’s track coach will be part of a unique moment Friday when the newly minted Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational cross country meet is run at the Zimmer Championship Course, located in Madison next to University Ridge Golf Course. Now in its eighth year, the event projects to be the toughest in the nation outside of the NCAA meet. According to the national polls, 19 of the top 30 men’s teams and 17 of the top 30 women’s programs will be on hand. Nuttycombe, a Hall of Famer who retired after 30 seasons in 2014, spoke while on vacation in Europe. He talked about Jesse Owens, his favorite keepsake, and who he’d draft No. 1 if he were starting a track team using all his athletes over the years.
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