The Checkup: The Roots of Runner’s High
• My Aha! moment of the day comes courtesy of NPR’s Morning Edition, which recently ran a segment about runner’s high, that euphoric feeling lots of runners get after long, arduous workouts. NPR talked to Arizona anthropologist David Raichlen, who ran a study on animals to see if they experience runner’s high the way we do. See, the phenomenon actually has chemical roots in the human body; science has shown that when humans exercise, their bodies make cannabinoids, the same type of chemicals in marijuana. So Raichlen thought that if distance-running animals create the same chemical, it might point to evolutionary roots for runner’s high—that creatures through the ages have been motivated to run because of this drug-like payoff, making them healthier, more fit to survive, able to thrive and reproduce. In other words—his own, in fact—he work aims to answer the question: Are we “wired” to run? Check out the NPR report for more about this fascinating research.
• Here’s something depressing to think about: If we stay the current course, 42 percent of Americans could be obese by 2030, according to a new Duke University study. In case you’re keeping score, that’s up from about one-third of Americans today.
• I can’t decide if these photos of a so-called “real-life Barbie” are photoshopped or not. She’s just so … plastic.