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-   -   Swim to Grow New Brain Cells (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1016)

shuumai 12-11-2009 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwag4life (Post 7660)
Terry,

Thanks so much for such an interesting post. Although I don't have the exact quote or research in front of me, another angle to go with training the brain is to talk about sustained exercise that requires concentration and ADHD. Having been diagnosed with adult ADHD at the age of 33 about a year ago I read as much as I could and there is a strong argument for cardiovascular exercise and its effects on ADHD. It is equivalent to taking Ritalin and Prozak. Coming from running into swimming, I can second your view that swimming requires much more concentration. I generally swim early in the morning unmedicated and it is an excellent way to try and maintain focus, especially on longer swims.

I'm not a health professional, but I'd also suggest reading about an amino acid called L-tyrosine. I don't have ADHD that I know of, but I found it while researching natural treatments for ADHD. I tested it and got good results for myself. When I take tyrosine, it seems that I don't talk endlessly and annoy my wife or argue with her as much--usually over talking too much or "swimming" in the living room! haha

(I use the 500mg VitaminShoppe brand of tyrosine. Hmm... I didn't know it had so much B6 in it as well. No matter.)

terry 12-11-2009 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwag4life (Post 7660)
another angle to go with training the brain is to talk about sustained exercise that requires concentration and ADHD.

I've not been formally diagnosed, but at 58 I'm pretty sure I've got ADD. That may have something to do with why I love mindful swimming. It feels grounding and is always a source of creative inspiration.

terry 12-11-2009 09:22 PM

Shuumai Thanks for the tip on tyrosine. I'll give it a try.

shuumai 12-11-2009 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terry (Post 7666)
Shuumai Thanks for the tip on tyrosine. I'll give it a try.

Well, the tip was to read about it first! But, yeah, it's safe to just give it a go.

Maybe this will make ADD people feel a little better. To paraphrase Dr. Kabat-Zinn, compared to experienced meditators, everyone has ADD! Maybe it doesn't apply to mindful swimmers?

shuumai 12-12-2009 12:25 AM

The Plastic Paradox
 
Old habits getting in the way?

Here's a quote from the preface of "The Brain that Changes Itself":

"While the human brain has apparently underestimated itself, neuroplasticity isn't all good news; it renders our brains not only more resourceful but also more vulnerable to outside influences. Neuroplasticity has the power to produce more flexible but also more rigid behaviours--a phenomenon I call 'the plastic paradox.' Ironically, some of our most stubborn habits and disorders are products of our plasticity. Once a particular plastic change occurs in the brain and becomes well established, it can prevent other changes from occurring. It is by understanding both the positive and negative effects of plasticity that we can truly understand the extent of human possibilities."

HandsHeal 12-12-2009 03:53 AM

Forumers Say...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by terry (Post 7665)
...pretty sure I've got ADD.

yeah...? well, Terry ...these TI Forums reveal an undebatable diagnosis - you do have a form of ADD. Admirable Disciplined Director!

Taking the liberty, on behalf of all of us forumers - Thank You!

Happy Strokes,
HandsHeal

terry 12-12-2009 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuumai (Post 7673)
"Once a particular plastic change occurs in the brain and becomes well established, it can prevent other changes from occurring. "

Interesting take on this. I would have been more inclined to see this as a manifestation of synaptic strength, than plasticity.
As I have understood it, synaptic strength is the quality that makes a new skill increasingly resistant to breakdown. Plasticity is the quality that allows skills - or behaviors - to be refined or adapted.

Rigid attitudes or behaviors are another matter. Not movement or skill oriented. We can anticipate what a psychologist would say about that. Not sure how a neurobiologist would interpret or explain it.

In the event, consideration of the role of the brain in all aspects of our swimming has made what was always intensely fascinating for me, even more so.

dwag4life 12-12-2009 01:36 PM

Shuumai,

Thanks for the tip! And for the nice mental image, haha. Also this is an interesting article, even though it's cycling, about a young man who was able to completely eliminate taking medication for his ADHD through cycling. It also explains the science of what exercise can do for the brain as well.

http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...1050-2,00.html

shuumai 12-12-2009 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwag4life (Post 7681)
Shuumai,

Thanks for the tip! And for the nice mental image, haha. Also this is an interesting article, even though it's cycling, about a young man who was able to completely eliminate taking medication for his ADHD through cycling. It also explains the science of what exercise can do for the brain as well.

http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...1050-2,00.html

Brilliant article. According to the article, cycling, swimming, and running are the best sports for ADHD people. I'm curious about what happens to ADHD tri-athletes after they "retire."

"And it's not just any exercise. Some activities are better brain boosters, and cycling is one of the best. David Conant-Norville, MD, a psychiatrist in Beaverton, Oregon, who specializes in adolescents and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, recently surveyed his colleagues about the best and worst sports for athletes with ADHD. Cycling, swimming and running are tops. At the bottom are soccer, hockey and baseball. The best sports demanded constant physical exertion and a suite of technical movements that engaged brain functions dealing with balance, timing, error correction, decision-making and focus."

terry 12-12-2009 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuumai (Post 7684)
"And it's not just any exercise. Some activities are better brain boosters, and cycling is one of the best. David Conant-Norville, MD, a psychiatrist in Beaverton, Oregon, who specializes in adolescents and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, recently surveyed his colleagues about the best and worst sports for athletes with ADHD. Cycling, swimming and running are tops. At the bottom are soccer, hockey and baseball. The best sports demanded constant physical exertion and a suite of technical movements that engaged brain functions dealing with balance, timing, error correction, decision-making and focus."

Am I reading this right? It seems to me that soccer and hockey require far more in balance, timing, error-correction, making lightning fast adjustments and decisions, and focus than running or cycling.

Just think of the thousands of unpredictable situations that may arise as a soccer player dribbles up the field or a hockey player brings the puck up the ice, with defenders swooping in to intercept him or her from any angle at any time and 5 of 9 teammates (excluding the goalie) moving in other directions to create position and movement patterns that change bewilderingly every second. Does it not make sense that this would require far more brain processing power than running or cycling?

I can't make sense of Dr. Conant-Norville's quote . . . except for the swimming reference of course.


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