Sleep and Athletes

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from Tuck.com

The benefits of good sleep come into particular focus for athletes. Post-exercise recovery with extra sleep accelerates the building of muscle, strength, and endurance. Without proper sleep, athletes suffer from poorer reaction times, longer recovery times, and worsened performance.

How does sleep deprivation affect athletes?

Sleep deprivation for one night or two, or the accumulation of sleep debt over time (for example, from getting one less hour of sleep per night), impacts reaction time, attention and focus, and physical recovery for athletes. The body restores itself during sleep, so it is necessary for recovery from intense training. A person who is sufficiently well-rested will not waste any resources on staying awake or straining to stay focused and alert. Thus, their body and their mind can focus solely on their athletic performance.

Poor sleep reduces reaction time

While mild sleep deprivation does not negatively affect aerobic capacity, it does affect reaction time.

Even small amounts of fatigue can significantly reduce reaction time and degrade athletic performance. A 2000 study showed that pulling an all-nighter has a similar effect on reaction time as having a blood alcohol level of .05% – either scenario can cut reaction times by half.

This reduction in reaction time does not affect just performance and play; it also puts the athlete at greater risk of injury. A 2014 study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found that adolescents who played a game following a night of fewer than 8 hours of sleep were nearly twice as likely to get injured.

Lack of sleep lengthens athletic recovery

Epworth sleepiness scaleLack of sleep lengthens an athlete’s immediate recovery time, but has detrimental long-term effects as well. In fact, if sleep issues are not addressed, they have the power to cut an athlete’s career short. In 2013, a study published in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine followed 80 Major League Baseball players over a period of three seasons. Their sleeping habits were recorded before the start of the 2010 season and ranked according to the Epworth sleepiness scale. Players who scored high for sleepiness were less than 40 percent likely to still be playing three seasons later, as compared with 72 percent of players who scored low on sleepiness.

Sleep, stress, and mental focus for athletes

The effects of sleep deprivation are not isolated to physical performance. Lack of sleep also impacts an athlete’s mental focus, mood, and stress levels.

Anyone involved in endurance sports understands the power of a positive mindset. High performance athletes and Olympians frequently attribute part of their success to a strong visualization practice and positive attitude. Sleep deprivation has a strong impact on mood and can cause irritability that interferes with an athlete’s ability to think positive and “keep their head in the game.”

Studies indicate that sleep deprivation is linked to increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Athletic performance already causes undue amounts of stress – adding to it is anything but helpful. Competitive athletes often have sleep onset insomnia before an important event, due to nervousness.

In Major League Baseball, “strike-zone judgment” or “plate discipline” refers to a player’s tendency to swing at pitches outside the strike zone. One might expect that over the course of a season, a player’s judgment would improve, since they have more practice, games, and at-bat time under the belt. However, one study of 30 teams found that players showed worse judgment at the end of the season due to mental fatigue from a long season filled with lots of travel.

Less sleep, lower energy for endurance athletes

Sleep deprivation has also been shown to inhibit production of glycogen and carbohydrates. These provide a critical source of energy during sustained athletic activity such as high-intensity weight-lifting or endurance events like marathons. If these stores are depleted, athletes will have less natural energy to rely on. As a result, they may rely increasingly on supplements that can have unexpected side effects.

These studies establish the importance of getting a quality night’s sleep if an athlete wishes to avoid risking athletic performance. The question then, is, does more sleep lead to better athletic performance? Some researchers say yes.

Do athletes require more sleep?

Research shows that athletic performance improves with sufficient sleep. Rested athletes are faster, more accurate, and have a quicker reaction time.

Stanford University’s Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory has studied athletes from basketball, track and field, tennis, golf, and cross country. The evidence, usually based on small sample sizes, suggests more sleep results in improved physical performance.

Sleep and Athletic Performance Studies

Swimming: In 2007, researchers asked a group of swimmers to sleep 10 hours a day for six to seven weeks and found notable improvements. Swim times were faster, and reaction times and turn times in the water improved. Kick stroke count increased as well.
Football: A similar regimen (10 hours of sleep per day during heavy training) for football players also produced improvements. Sprint times for both 20-yard and 40-yards declined by .1 seconds. The players also reported improved mood.
Tennis: When women’s tennis players increased their nightly sleep to 10 hours, they also experienced improved sprint times by 1.5 seconds as well as their serve accuracy by 23.8 percent.
Basketball: A 2011 study of basketball players found that getting two hours more of sleep each night boosted their speed by 5 percent and their shooting accuracy for both free throws and three-point shots by 9 percent.
In all of these studies, forcing the athletes undergoing heavy training to sleep longer than average people led to significant improvements in athletic performance.

How much sleep should athletes get?

Trainers recognize the benefits of sufficient and even long sleep for athletes in heavy training. The recommended amount of sleep for an average adult is 7 to 9 hours per night. By contrast, adult athletes should get 10 hours in the weeks surrounding their training and competitive events, to ensure optimal performance as well as an efficient recovery. Adolescent athletes should aim for at least 9 hours.

If it’s not possible to get the full amount of sleep, naps can be a way to “make up” for the missed time, although they are far from an ideal solution. Naps should be kept to 30 minutes or less, and should be avoided before practice or competition as they can cause sleepiness upon waking.

Why is sleep so important for athletes?

Sleep is important for everyone, but especially for athletes. Sleep allows the body to recover from the physical stresses of the day, as well as process new information and commit it to memory.

Benefits of non-REM light sleep and deep sleep for athletes

During non-REM sleep, the body experiences higher activity levels of cell division and regeneration than while awake. These processes are critical for muscle recovery. Without sufficient nREM sleep, recovery time will be longer.

Sleep spindles are brain waves that characterize stage 2 of light sleep. These brain waves indicate the brain synthesizing new information, such as new training tips, specialized plays or movement, and coaching advice.

During deep sleep, the body regulates levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. When cortisol levels reach higher than normal, it impacts the body’s ability to digest glucose at best and lead to coronary heart disease or diabetes at worst. The inability to process glucose for sleep deprived athletes was similar to effects experienced by elderly individuals. Endurance is directly tied to the body’s ability to metabolize and synthesize glucose for later use as fuel during races and events that last beyond 90 minutes.

Benefits of REM sleep for athletes

During REM sleep, the Hippocampus works to transfer recently learned information to the neo-cortex for later recall. This includes all kinds of information, from muscle movements to visual and written information.

Very heavy exercise experienced by world-class athletes shifts the sleep architecture. The REM latency – which is to say the time period after the person goes to sleep before REM starts – is longer, and the sleeper has less REM during the first half of the night than normal.

Athletes who do not get sufficient REM sleep may notice a corresponding decline in performance. This is especially true for sports where detailed information is required to remember a play (such as football) or to orchestrate a movement (such as diving). For top athletes, fractions of seconds or inches can be the difference between winning or losing. It is critical that their bodies react quickly and perform movements as expected.

Does sleep deprivation affect male vs. female athletes differently?

Women are more prone to sports-related injuries than men. In particular, the most common injuries for women are ankle sprains, rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis, ACL tears, stress fractures in the foot or shinbone, and plantar fasciitis.

This has nothing to do with physical fitness. Rather, Harvard Medical School researchers attribute the higher risk of injury female athletes endure down to basic physiological differences between the sexes. For example, women have higher estrogen levels, looser ligaments, narrower knees, and a wider pelvis. The physical structure of the bones affects how women move. Female athletes can take proactive measures against injury by strengthening their muscles (especially the hamstrings if the sport is correlated with ACL injury), working to land from jumps with their knees farther apart, and using shoe inserts to prevent foot injuries.

Women are also more prone to sleep disorders such as insomnia, which can interfere with their ability to get quality sleep. Fortunately, women have been shown to recover from sleep debt more quickly than men.

How does sleep affect human growth hormone production for athletes?

Researchers have conjectured that long, heavy sleep impacts athletic performance due to the fact that growth hormones are released during deep sleep and the extra sleep encourages more hormone production. HGH production during deep sleep promotes tissue repair and recovery of the body and muscles, critical for maintaining sustained performance during an athlete’s career. Natural increase of HGH can be promoted by both exercise and sleep. Some top-level athletes attempt to gain a competitive advantage by taking supplements of human growth hormone.

Additional resources:

Sleep and human growth hormone
Are HGH supplements healthy?
Use of HGH supplements among athletes
Can you naturally increase your HGH levels?
Sleep tips for athletes

Athletes wishing to improve their quality of sleep may find the following tips useful.

1. Practice good sleep hygiene.

Follow a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends. Reserve the bedroom strictly for bedroom-only activities. Develop a bedtime routine whereby you do the same things every night before bed, as a way of developing the habit of falling asleep.

The optimal bedroom temperature for sleep is in the mid-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Athletes may benefit from an even cooler temperature, since they sweat more during the day and tend to run hot from all the activity.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol intake, especially in the days leading up to an event. Unless prescribed by a doctor, avoid sleep aids and medication as they may interfere with athletic performance.

2. Avoid exercise at night.

Sleep is induced and sustained when your body temperature lowers. Avoid elevating body temperature by not exercising right before bed.

Instead, reserve training and high-intensity workouts for the early morning and afternoon so as to energize the body for the day. Ideally, exercise can be paired with sunlight and performed outside to sync up your circadian rhythms.

3. Reduce the effects of jet lag.

Athletes also have to counteract the effects of travel and jetlag on their ability to sleep.

Jet lag is harder to overcome when traveling east. Athletes who have to travel less or are traveling west may have a competitive edge over their opponents, simply by virtue of already having acclimated to the time zone. Giving new meaning to the idea of a “home court advantage,” sleep researcher Dr. Christopher Winter has described this phenomenon as a “circadian advantage.”

Athletes should aim to arrive a few days early if possible, to help them adjust to the new time zone.

80th S’pore Open Track & Field C’ship 2018

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by Coach Jack

Meet held on 11th and 12th April 2018 (Wednesday & Thursday) at Sports Hub.

5 of our athletes qualifies on merit for the above meet.
*Isabella Ghersi (800m & 1500m)
*Indira Patel (5000m)
*Carla Broussy (1500m)
*Maya Rostoft (800m)
*Shiv Ahuja (200m)

Unfortunately Maya Rostoft was unable to run in her 800m as she was unwell and the rest still manage to set PB’s in their events.

*Isabella Ghersi was 2nd in the 800m with the time of 2:18.99, and did 4:46.28 (previous PB – 4:56.25) in the 1500m
*Indira Patel set a PB in the 5000m with the time of 18:31.22 (previous PB – 18:34.83)
*Carla Broussy set a PB in the 1500m with the time of 5:30.08 (previous PB – 5:43.30)
*Shiv Ahuja set a PB too in his 200m with a time of 23.35 (previous PB – 23.39)

Once again, WELL DONE athletes!

44th Singapore U18 & U20 Athletics C’ship 2018

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by Coach Jack

Championship held at Bishan Stadium on 10th & 11th March 2018

*Shiv Ahuja won 2 Silver medals in the U18 100m and 200m category
*Isabella Ghersi won 2 Gold Medals in the U20 800m and 1500m category.

With this results, both qualified on merit for Singapore Open which is to be held on 11th & 12th April 2018 at Sports Hub.

Well Done athletes and work starts now in preparation for Singapore Open which is a Open Category competing against International Athletes.

Akira Swift Cross Country

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by Coach Jat

Another great showing by our athletes at Akira Swift Cross Country Championship on 3rd March 2018 at Bedok Reservoir Park.

Swift Cross Country 2018 Results

U8 BOYS
1st Troy Seow 59.43
2nd Leo Seyffert 1.03.71
3rd Jake Braun 1.05.88
5th Kiren Menon 1.06.95
6th Arjan Singh 1.07.98
11th Sng Zhe Kai 1.12.74
12th Aravind Narun 1.15.47
15th Aarav Kedia 1.23.70
16th Shlok 2.00.07

U8 GIRLS
1st Ng Isabel 1.09.26
4th Deianira Jeffrey 1.14.70
5th Alice Ferraton 1.15.21
6th Natalie Chen 1.16.07
7th Stella Montillo 1.17.83

U9 BOYS
1st Diego Lopez 1.51.73
2nd David Laufik 2.02.21
5th Liam Mcparlinn 2.05.91
James Clayton No time

U9 GIRLS
1st Sng Ying Shuen 2.00.06

U10 BOYS
8th Shehan Thomas George 2.13.60
11th Aadam S/O Feroz 2.18.37

U10 GIRLS
3rd Meera Rangnekar 1.57.21
4th Beatrice Robinson 1.58.05
11th Aaisha Mirza 2.10.52

U11 BOYS
1st Justin Seyffert 3.22.43
3rd Lee Shen Oon Max 3.35.58
4th Emmanuel Justus Tan 3.36.01
5th Tan Wei Yee 3.40.91
8th Ng Tristan 3.45.74
15th Irawan Loewe 3.56.28
16th Sousuke Parker 3.58.39
40th Finn Hudson 4.58.66

U11 GIRLS
2nd Jade Chin 4.04.03
4th Caeley Ellysa Tan 4.12.83

U12 BOYS
8th Chua Yuan Xun 3.38.34
17th Li Jiang Tian 3.54.01
37th Bodhisattva Ghoge 4.32.02

U12 GIRLS
3rd Lakshayaa 3.55.88
4th Ramaa Rangnekar 4.00.70
7th Aleesya D/O Feroz 4.13.42
8th Sarah Dubuc 4.16.07

U14 BOYS
4th Arav Cabral 13.52.57
10th Niraj Singh 14.10.35
14th KS Gautam 14.17.22
34th Kyle Seow 15.50.21

U17 BOYS
40th Luca Wigley 18.48.88

U17 GIRLS
1st Indira Patel 13.14.58
2nd Isabella Ghersi 14.07.05
3rd Maya Rostoft 14.55.95
4th Sophie Ferraton 14.45.27

U17 Girls Team – 1st

Keep up the good job!

Wings-ActiveSG Cross Country Championship 2018

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by Coach Jack

Another sounding results from our Boys and Girls at the recent concluded Wings-ActiveSG Cross Country Championship at Bedok Reservoir on 24th Feb’2018.

All our medalist –

U14 Girls (3.8km)
Carmela Ruiz-Cabrero – 4th (16:37.81)
Clara Chua – 5th (16:46.39)
Rosario Ruiz-Cabrero – 8th (17:14.54)

U17 Boys (4.8km)
Valentin Van Wersch – 13th (17:34.28)

U20 Boys (4.8km)
Jayson Chua – 13th (17:18.24)

U17 Girls (3.8km)
Indira Patel – 1st (14:51.90)
Isabella Ghersi – 3rd (15:37.16)
Maya Rostoff – 5th (16:43.38)
Carla Broussy – 7th (16:58.40)
Sophie Ferraton – 11th (17:13.38)

U17 Girls Team – Champion

Well done once again to all our athletes!

35 Amazing Health Benefits of Running

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According to Science (+10 Tips for Beginners)
www.sport-fitness-advisor.com

Running or jogging are both forms of aerobic exercises and as such present the body with quite a number of amazing health benefits. The difference between jogging and running is basically the intensity and the speed in which they are done.

Running is different from jogging in that it requires more effort from the heart, muscles, and lungs.

Running also requires an individual to be at a higher level of fitness than jogging does and burns more calories than jogging (1).

1. Running can help improve your cardiovascular health
Running has been shown to be an excellent means of keeping the cardiovascular system in a good condition. As earlier mentioned, running is an aerobic exercise which uses up the fatty acids and the carbohydrates in the diet for energy needed during the activity.

A characteristic runner usually has a slow resting pulse rate and an inversely high utmost consumption of oxygen. Studies on the heart have shown that people who run for distances have more defined, thicker left ventricles as compared to sedentary people (2). Their hearts pump a larger volume of blood per heartbeat and are more efficient than the hearts of sedentary people. Running also has progressive effects on a lot of coronary risk factors, which is a possible explanation as to why chronic endurance exercise is usually linked with lower rates of coronary death.

Bottom Line: Running is a highly effective coronary exercise which helps to use up fatty acids and carbohydrates. It generally promotes good cardiac health and prevents coronary death.

2. Running can help improve one’s mood
Those people who have been running agree that running generally alleviates their mood regardless of what they are feeling before running. As a matter of fact, some people use running purposely to improve their mood and it is even recommended by some therapists. This is not only because of the common condition known as “runner’s high” which is caused by the rush of feel-good hormones called endocannabinoids.

One study (3), which was published in the journal called Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, showed findings by researchers that even a single instance of simple exercise such as walking on the treadmill for half an hour could instantly uplift the mood for an individual suffering from a major disorder of depression.

Bottom Line: Running helps to improve the mood of an individual regardless of the preceding mood. The activity also helps to improve the mood of an individual by inducing the production of feel-good hormones which cause the effect usually referred to as the “runner’s high”.

3. Running can strengthen joints
Contrary to popular belief, a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that running does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis, even for people who run for very long distances.

Surprisingly, the study showed that people who ran had a 50% less chance of suffering from knee osteoarthritis as compared to those who walked. A explained by one exercise physiologist, every time the foot lands on the ground when running, the bones and cartilage are stressed, just like the muscles. This causes them to spring back stronger, which is a benefit for the runner. Low-impact exercises such as walking, elliptical workouts or swimming do not provide the individual with this benefit.

Bottom Line: Running does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis as had been thought before, a study showed that it actually reduces the risk of osteoarthritis by half. It also helps to strengthen the bones and the cartilage.

4. Running burns calories
The activity of running requires a lot of calories which act as the fuel for the runner. Therefore, running burns up a lot of calories. According to The American Council on Exercise (4), about 11.4 calories per minute can be burned by the average person at 120-pounds by just running a 10-minute mile on a flat terrain and on a calm day. However, this number varies depending on an individual and a number of other factors such as the body weight. This number can also be adjusted accordingly by running at a higher pace, running on a rough terrain or running against the wind – all which increase the number of calories burned.

Bottom Line: Running helps to burn up calories at an average rate of 11.4 calories per minute with standard conditions of an individual weighing 120 pounds running on a flat terrain and on a calm day at the pace of one mile in 10 minutes.

5. Running helps promote proper leg workouts
All the body’s biggest muscles are located in the legs. Running majorly involves the legs and works out all of these muscles, benefiting all of them. All the muscles including the inner and the outer thighs, the gluteus maximus found on the backside, the quads, the hamstrings, and the calves get worked out during the process of running. Running is, therefore, a great remedy for collective leg muscle workout.

Bottom Line: Most of the biggest muscles in the body are located in the legs and running as works out all of them, making it an ideal leg workout practice.

6. Running helps in working out the core
Running as an exercise is important for working out not only the abs known as the rectus abdominis but also muscles which are found deeper in the core such as the erector spinae, obliques and the transverse abdominis, which are the muscles that perform the role of sucking in the gut, making the spine more stable and handling the transfer of energy between the swinging arms and the legs.

Running therefore helps to work out a great percentage of the muscles found in the core and thus it is a good core workout. One study showed through electronic imaging showed that the external obliques were the abdominal muscles mainly engaged when running alongside the other stabilizing muscles of the trunk, located in the middle and the lower back, as published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism in the year 2009 (5). Hence, running can be rightly be considered as one efficient collective exercise with multiple benefits both to the cardiovascular system and to the trunk.

Bottom Line: Running helps to exercise the core and most of the muscles found in the trunk.

7. Running is ideal for a general workout
Running is also good for general body to work out because as mentioned, it is a highly intense aerobic activity which works out a lot – if not all – of the muscles in the body besides the fact that it is also a good mood improver. Running can be adopted as a basic workout routine and the results are just as amazing.

People who run a lot have healthier bodies and get to gain from all the benefits that come along with the exercise. It is also suitable since it does not require one to belong to any gym, use up a lot of time, or learn how to do it. Therefore it easily fits into your schedule.

Bottom Line: Running can be adopted as a general workout routine since it gives the individual the chance of gaining from all the benefits of running and works out a lot of the muscles in the body.

8. Running can help promote meditation
When running, many people find the chance to concentrate and focus on themselves. They also get to think about situations which are posing challenges to them and consequently come up with solutions to them. Coupled with the ability to run to induce production of feel-good hormones.

Also, running helps one to take some time away from stressful activities which is beneficial also in depression management (6). Recent studies show that meditation helps to boost the gray matter, fight depression and anxiety and improve focus. Therefore, running counting as meditation helps the individual to enjoy the benefits that come along with meditation.

Bottom Line: Running helps people to focus on themselves and to find solutions to the challenges they might be facing. It also helps to get some time away from depressing situations and thus offers some relief.

9. Running can help promote weight loss
There are studies which have shown that inactivity is a major factor which contributes to obesity and weight gain (7, 8). In order to comprehend how running contributes to weight loss, it is important to first appreciate the relationship between the use of energy in the body and exercise.

Energy is spent by the body through food digestion, exercising and maintenance of body functions such as breathing and heartbeat. Metabolic rate is lowered by reduced calorie intake which is experienced when one is dieting. This lowering of the metabolic rate slows down weight loss. In contrast, running increases the metabolic rate and consequently burns up more calories and help the individual to lose weight (9).

Bottom Line: Running increases the rate of metabolism and helps to burn up more calories which speeds up weight loss. On the contrary, dieting causes a slower metabolic rate caused by reduced calorie intake.

10. Running helps improve the health of bones and the muscles
Another major benefit of running is the building and maintenance of strong bones and muscles. When coupled with adequate intake of proteins, running can help build up some muscles.

Depending on the intensity, running can be quite a strenuous exercise which can sometimes lead to serious injuries and even disabilities at times. It is good to some physical exercises running to avoid getting injuries caused by straining. It also reduces muscle loss which results from aging. In addition to that, running helps to maintain the strength of a person as one ages.

For young people, running increases the bone density and also helps to prevent conditions such as osteoporosis when age kicks in (10). As a matter of fact, exercises of a high impact such as running or even odd–impact sports such as soccer and basketball have been shown to promote more increase in bone density than sports like cycling and swimming which are considered to be low-impact sports (11).

Bottom Line: Running helps to maintain strong bones and muscles especially when coupled with adequate protein intake. It also helps to increase bone density in young people and prevent osteoporosis at a later stage.

11. Running can help increase energy levels
For those suffering from various medical conditions as well as those who are healthy, running can be a very good energy booster (12). One study found that regular exercises carried out for six weeks on a regular basis reduced the feeling of fatigue for a number of people who had reported persistent fatigue (13).

More so, energy levels for people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other serious ailments can be significantly increased through exercises. Actually, exercising has proven to be more fruitful at fighting chronic fatigue syndrome than any other treatments such as relaxation and stretching and other passive therapies. Running, being a form of exercise itself can offer these benefits to by helping to increase the energy levels of the individuals. Running as an exercise has also been shown by studies increase the energy levels of people who suffer from progressive illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS (14).

Bottom Line: Running regularly can increase the energy levels for healthy people, people suffering from medical conditions and even those who suffer from serious diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and even HIV/AIDS.

12. Running reduces risk of chronic disease
One main cause of chronic disease is the lack of regular physical activity (15) such as running. Regular physical activity has been proven to help improve the sensitivity to insulin, improve the cardiovascular health and the body composition, and at the same time reduce blood pressure and blood fat levels.

The absence of regular exercise, short-term or none at all thereof, can cause a major belly fat increase which is a predisposing factor that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and shortens the life of an individual by causing early deaths. Due to this, it is recommended to do some physical exercise daily so as to reduce belly fat and lower the risk of developing the mentioned diseases (16). Running can help achieve this since it is also an exercise.

Bottom Line: Regular physical exercise in form of running can help one to maintain proper body weight which significantly lowers the risk of chronic diseases.

13. Running helps skin health
The amount of oxidative stress in the body usually can affect the skin. As such, this may lead to deterioration of the skin due to damage of the internal structures. This oxidative stress usually occurs when the antioxidant defenses of the body cannot repair the cells damaged by free radicals completely.

Regular and moderate exercises such as running can help to increases the body’s production of natural antioxidants which helps to protect the cells (17). However, caution should be practiced because intense and exhaustive physical exercise can itself cause oxidative damage. Running can fuel blood flow and induce adaptations of the skin cells which help to delay the appearance of the aging of the skin (18).

Bottom Line: Moderate physical exercise can provide the body with antioxidant protection and also promote blood flow, which protects the skin and slows the appearance of skin aging. However, intense physical activity can cause oxidative damage.

14. Running helps in improving brain and memory health
Running can help to improve the functioning of the brain and improve one’s mental performance. The exercise also helps to improve the memory and cognitive skills. First, running increases the rate of beating of the heart, consequently increasing the amount of blood flowing to the brain and thus more oxygen flows to the brain.

Running can induce the production of hormones that can promote the growth of brain cells. Furthermore, since running helps to prevent chronic disease can also mean benefits to the brain since its functioning is affected by these diseases (19).

Aging, in combination with oxidative stress and inflammation, is usually associated with changes in the structural and functional characterization of the brain. Physical exercise has been proven to increase the size of the hippocampus which is the part of the brain which is critical in the process of learning and in memory. The increase in the size of this part of the brain translates to the increase of mental function in older adults.

Bottom Line: Running increase the blood flow to the brain and this helps to boost the brain structurally and functionally. It also improves the memory and the learning functionality in older people.

15. Running improves the quality of sleep and helps in relaxation
Regular physical exercise can help an individual to rest better and to have good sleep (20). In regards to the quality of sleep, the energy depletion which happens when running induces recuperative processes to happen during sleep.

Furthermore, it is believed that the increase in the body temperature which is experience when running assists one to sleep because it helps the temperature to drop during sleep. A lot of studies which focus on the effects of exercises on sleep also come to similar conclusions. Running regularly also appears to have benefits for elderly people who are the most common victims of sleep disorders (21).

Bottom Line: Regular physical activity like running can help in getting better sleep and feeling more energetic when awake.

16. Running reduces pain
Usually, chronic pain can be very agonizing. However, running can help reduce the pain. For a long time, rest and inactivity have been the main remedy for chronic pain. However, recent research has shown that exercising helps in relief of chronic pain (22). Several studies show that physical exercise actually helps to reduce pain for people experiencing chronic pain and also improves their quality of life (22). Other related studies have shown that exercise can help in controlling the pain caused by the various health conditions such as fibromyalgia,

17. Running increases the learning abilities
According to (23) study carried out in a journal by the name Neurobiology of learning and memory, systemic running improves someone’s capacity to learn and retain the new information fed into his/her brain. This was more effective in the case of high-intensity running where the health benefits seemed to increase as the running proceeded each time.

The study, however, proved that low-intensity learning also played a part in the process as both acted as boosts to the levels of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor. In addition, the two also boosted the neurotransmitter catecholamine which is highly associated with the brain’s learning and retention functions.

Bottom line: Running regularly plays a great role in the increment of the learning abilities.

18. Running protects the brain from aging
Scientists have proved that running buffers against the aging effects of the brain (23). They experimented different exercises which were better in the regulation and they came to a conclusion those different physical exercises and more specifically aerobic activities which include running were retained as the best forms. This is because they showed lower rates of shrinking of the brain and cognitive decline in subjects who were physically active. The test was on the basis of brain scans performed on the different sample subjects representing various brain games.

Bottom line: Running aids in the prevention of brain aging and therefore increasing its lifespan to perform various activities for longer periods.

19. Running helps to decrease cravings for unhealthy foods and substances
In another scientific finding, running aided in the decrease of cravings which were either as a result of some drugs such as alcohol or even food substances (24). A test was carried out and after a one hour running the different participants in most cases opted for some healthy diet which included the vegetables over the junk food. In another case, results were similar when marijuana replaced the junk food and the users of the substance proclaimed that they experienced a fast decline in both the cravings and the initial daily use.

This was so after just a few short sessions of running especially on a treadmill. Research appearing in Frontiers of Psychiatry has also proven that running not only reduces the cravings for marijuana only but also other drugs involving cocaine, alcohol or nicotine.

Bottom line: Constant running helps in the decline of cravings for different unhealthy foods and substances in most cases.

20. Running increases creativity
Intriguingly, there is an increment in the level of creativity as the running process is maintained in normal human beings (25). According to a study carried out by the British journal of sports medicine, there were increased scores in creative thinking by participants who took part in the running activities. The finding provided the evidence to a link between running and increased levels of human creativity as provided by the insider report of 2016 article in the in business. The study made an approval that the opportunity of the brain activeness was directly proportional to the running process.

Bottom line: Human creativity is determined by the personal activeness and the activities that his/her body performs.

21. Running reduces stress
Research has well proven that mental stress is a common issue for most people who are often busy nowadays. Further studies have shown that a 20 to 30 minutes’ walk or running session every day helps in reduction of mental stress to some (26). It is also said to have the same effect that a mild tranquilizer has to a human body. Running triggers the mind to shift the thoughts from something disturbing to brain activeness as in various scientific journals.

Bottom line: Science has adequate evidence to prove that running acts as an effective method of relieving stress as discussed.

22. Running increases an individual’s sex life
Daily walking and running basically improve one’s lifestyle and muscle strength. In addition, both help in improving mind-body coordination and sex drive in both the male and the female gender (26). The exercise had a responded positively to the increment of sex drive of men as well as the sexual arousal of women. It was also found to increase the body awareness which in turn was also responsible for the sexual arousal increment. Since there is also an increase in one’s self-esteem, an impact which comes exercise is built and consequently affecting the sex drive for women and men particularly.

Bottom line: Both running and walking as parts of body exercises help in increasing the sex drive as a health benefit to the participants.

23. Running relieves menopause symptoms
There was a scientific study carried out specifically on women at the ages between 55 and 72 years to collect data on the menopause (27). According to the research, those involved themselves in regular running exercises showed fewer menopause symptoms as compared to those who did not take part in exercises.

Bottom line: Running and regular exercises have a benefit of reducing the menopause symptoms on women.

24. Running reduces someone’s risk of cancer
A scientific research shows that the reduction of the risk of cancer is directly linked to the physical activities that one takes part in. There is a twenty-four chance lower that someone might contract colon cancer if he/she is active as affirmed by the Journal of Carcinogenesis and mutagenesis (28). In cases of women, the contraction risk of breast cancer is lowered as they become active.

Different exercises lower the hormonal level of insulin, estrogen and some other growth factors that increase the risk of cancer attack. The exercises also improve the digestion rate and therefore help in the lowering of stomach and tract cancers. Running and walking aid in increasing the amount of the oxygen flow in the body and hence reduce cancer attack in body parts.

Bottom line: Running plays an important role in declining the levels of cancer attack among people.

25. Running increases the lifespan of a human being
According to different studies, running is a major factor that helps to extend people’s lives as well as making them feel better. The researches carried out on various participants which include the athletes show that running, jogging and walking help them to freely move for long periods of time. Running also plays a role in improving the athletes’ lives and therefore acting as a control to various lifestyle diseases.

Bottom line: Running makes a great contribution to the improvement of different people’s lives as well as lengthening their lifespan.

26. Running increases the functioning of the lungs
According to scientists, the exercise that someone achieves from either running or brisk walking greatly increases the workload of the lungs (30). This triggers the sympathetic nerves to stimulate the respiratory muscles of the subject so that he/she can increase the breathing rate. It is also proven that the byproducts released from the muscles which include lactic acid, carbon dioxide and hydrogen help the respiratory nerves located in the brainstem to be stimulated. The process then stimulated the respiratory muscles resulting in a slight blood pressure elevation more air sacs in the lungs for the purpose of blood floor. This process helps in improving the oxygen capacity in the lungs and in turn the whole body.

Bottom line: Running and other exercises help in increasing the functioning of the lungs and in turn acts as a control to respiratory diseases.

27. Running helps in assimilation of vitamin D
Some outdoor exercises which include running and walking aid in exposing the skin to the sunlight which in turn accumulates vitamin D as published in the Nutrition research. Studies carried out earlier proved that people experienced doldrums on rainy days which significantly helped to show the need for vitamin D from sunlight (30).

According to scientists, daily walking and running act as an exposure of the skin to sunlight and therefore improving the access of vitamin D. It was also found that the participants extra relaxation since the vitamin also worked on mood improvement. There is no need for prolonged exposure of the skin to the sun because a thirty-minute walk or run daily was enough to improve the vitamin level.

Bottom line: Running as one of the outdoor activities helps to boost vitamin D levels in the body due to a continuous exposure of the skin to the sun.

28. Running helps to improve balance
Too much exercise of any form is considered as unhealthy and leads to stress injuries and bone loss​. However, according to scientists, athletes are at a higher advantage of protecting their knees and the muscle tendons. This therefore means that they maintain their balance even at an old age and therefore reducing the likelihood of falling and breaking of joints such as the hip joint.

Running also helps to improve the stamina which also plays a role in balance maintenance.

Bottom line: Running helps to keep balance reducing the risk of falling which significantly reduces bone and joint breakage resulting from fall impact.

29. Running helps to get rid of beer belly
As someone gets older, pounds tend to begin tacking especially onto the beer consumers’ bodies especially in women​. In a study that was published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, more than a hundred participants were studied. The results affirmed that the participants who ran a distance of more than 35 miles a week had lower weight values around their abdomen than the people who only ran for less than 9 miles.

Bottom line: Upon the results of the study, it is clearly evident that frequent running aids in the control of the beer belly by reducing the abdominal fat which in most cases result to an increased probability of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

30. Running fights off common cold
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who practiced the running process suffered from colds at a forty-three percent than those who never bothered to follow the regiment. In addition to this, whenever the athletes did catch a cold, their signs and symptoms were less severe than normal. The study also proved that thirty minutes’ walk or run was a great measure that helped to stimulate the immune system to fight off cold that is lately coming on (32).

Bottom line: Cold can be fought by a less than an hour time span of running whenever the first symptoms appear.

31. Running reduces depression
According to a study that was published in the ACM’s Health and Fitness Journal earlier in 2013, participants were required to exercise to improve depression. The findings of the study demonstrated that exercising and particularly running was an effective treatment for depression. Observation studies have also suggested that people who are active have a less probability of being depressed.

Interventional studies suggest that exercise is also beneficial for the reduction of the depression symptoms in human beings. In addition, the lowest exercise levels play a role in the improvement of depression symptoms​. Several studies have also found that resistance training can be effective in contrary to most studies that have focused on aerobic exercises.

Bottom line: Running aids in dealing with depression as well as to treat patients who are clinically depressed.

32. Running keeps eyes healthy
A published study in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows that people who run an average of five or more miles each day have a lower percentage of developing cataracts which lead to vision loss​. The advantage, however, has not been discovered by many people as they do not think that eye maintenance and health is one of the running benefits.

Bottom line: Running plays a part in the control of diseases that cataracts in people’ old ages.

33. Running helps to improve the hearing ability
According to a research earlier performed at Bellarmine University located in Kentucky, running aids to improve the blood flow in ears which in turn improves hearing​.

In another study where adult women participated, it was discovered that the group that had a higher cardiorespiratory fitness developed better hearing abilities as compared to the unfit. There was a six percent higher hearing ability in women who had higher aerobic fitness.

Bottom line: Running helps to improve the hearing ability which is an advantage to the aging people.

34. Running alleviates anxiety
Running as one of the vigorous forms of exercise helps in reducing anxiety symptoms and aids in the relaxation of mind​. The activeness created works as a good medication to relieve anxiety as cited by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Bottom line: Anxiety can be reduced by running and other physical vigorous activities.

35. Running boosts self-esteem
Running was greatly linked with self-esteem as per a study carried out on a group of adolescent girls (35). An evaluation according to the “Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run” after the participants run some laps showed that those who ran more laps at a faster pace achieved higher PACER scores.

This consequently exhibits higher levels of self-esteem in addition to better physical fitness. Overweight kids who participated in various vigorous aerobic activities such as running developed an increase in their self-esteem.

Bottom line: running is one of the physical activities that aids in the lifting of someone’s self-esteem.

Ten tips for beginners
1. Planning
As a beginner, strategic planning is a great consideration since it helps in improving faster than simple winging it. The planning aids in avoiding pushing oneself so fast, and the risk of burnout.

2. Getting the right kit
Running is quite a cheap sport where only a pair of shorts, t-shirt and some trainers for a starter. However, as a professional runner, you might also want to invest in a decent running watch and the right shoes to maximize performance.

3. Pick up the pace
A starter should gently amble with the same loop a couple of times a week which should be a slower pace at first and then proceed to faster pace. In order to improve on the pace, there should be different forms of warm-ups.

4. Perform other vigorous exercises
Even though many runners consider any other training that does not involve running as a waste of time, it is of benefit to starters since increases the respiratory rates. The exercises may involve those that help the knees function properly increasing the efficiency during running.

5. Healthy eating
Generally, the body digests simple carbohydrates at a faster rate than proteins. Since carbohydrates which are stored as fuel can make one run for ninety minutes, it is necessary that one should take some gels to increase the fuel storage and make the starter run for a longer period.

6. Getting a group
A starter needs to get a running group where he/she acquires the motivation, inspiration and commitment to continue with the process​. Since everyone experiences times that they don’t want to run, when committed to a certain group there is the pushing force that makes them run continuously.

7. Get hydrated
As a starter, one needs to get hydrated as the body also requires being fueled during the running processes. A recommendation of about 20 oz. of water about two hours prior to running is set. Whenever someone runs for more than an hour, there is the need for replacing the water previously taken with a sports drink. This helps to maintain the electrolyte level in the body as well as increasing the levels of some nutrients involving sodium, potassium and manganese.

8. Get rest
Rest is a requirement by the body where it provides time to rebuild and recover. Whenever one runs or performs an exercise there are micro tears created which need to be recovered thus showing the essentiality of rest after every exercise. If one does not take enough rest, there can be signs of feeling tired, sluggish or sore.

9. Getting in tune with the body
There is the need for someone to listen to their bodies to pause running if one does not feel well especially on the points that are greatly involved in the process. One should take some rest and whenever he/she does not feel well, they are supposed to see a doctor.

10. Get acclimatized
Beginners should try to get acclimatized to the new body requirements after they start their running processes. One should start slowly to avoid the cramping quads, shin splints and sore hips as they start adjusting in the new activities.

Swift Age Group Road Relay 2018

Posted on Categories Blog

by Coach Jat & Jayson

Another amazing finish from JS Boys and Girls Teams at Akira Swift Age Group Road Relay 2018 at Bedok Reservoir on 10th February 2018 (Saturday).

Results:

U17 Girls 1st
U14 Boys 1st
U12 Boys 1st
U12 Girls 2nd
U11 Boys team 1 1st
U11 Boys team 2 2nd
U11 Girls 1st
U10 Boys 3rd
U10 Girls 1st
U9 Boys 1st
U9 Girls 2nd

Well Done to all our athletes, all were winners and a big thank to their parents too for their great support!

To be the BEST, train with the BEST!

67th SA Cross Country C’ship 2018

Posted on Categories Blog

by Coach Jack

67th Singapore Athletics Cross Country Championship 2018.

Our medallist –

U18 Girls
1st – Indira Patel
3rd – Maya Rostoft
5th – Caylee Chua

U15 Girls
3rd – Carmela Ruiz-Cabrero
4th – Clara Chua
5th – Rosario Ruiz-Cabrero

U20 Boys
7th – Jayson Chua

Job well done and look forward to our next races.

2018 SA U13 Meet on 29th Jan ’18

Posted on Categories Blog

by Coach Jat

SA U13 Track & Field Meet 2018


Results

 of JS Athletes

300m GIRLS U10

ISABEL NG 9th 1:05.48s



300m GIRLS U11
ELIZABETH SINGH 11th 59.44s



300m BOYS U12
DYLAN HUGHES 1st 47.08s

OLIVER WONG 3rd 50.09s

SOUSUKE PARKER 7th 51.38s

JOEL CHING 14th 53.80s

TRISTAN NG 19th 54.84s

LOEWE IRAWAN 26th 56.28



300m BOYS U13

DANIEL TANG 4th 47.31s

LI JIANG TIAN 13th 51.28s



200m BOYS U11
SHEHAN THOMAS GEORGE 14th 34.99s

AADAM 31st 37.71s



200m GIRLS U11

AAISHAN MIRZA 29th 42.91s



200m BOYS U12

DYLAN HUGHES 1st 29.24s

SOUSUKE PARKER 2nd 30.39s

OLIVER WONG 3rd 31.854s

JOEL CHING 14th 33.40s



200m BOYS U13

IAIN WONG 10th 32.11s



1500m BOYS U13

SEAN KHOO 5th 5:53.56s

ZAK BROWN 14th 6:27.63s



600m GIRLS U10

MEERA 5th 2:15.86s

LOW ANN EE 6th 2:15.91s

NEYA 18th 2:31.77s



600m BOYS U12
TRISTAN NG 9th 2:04.92s

MAX LEE 12th 2:06.98s

LEE JUN 13th 2:07.44s

LOEWE IRAWAN 21st 2:14.17s

LEE WEI YI 30th 2:22.69s



600m GIRLS U12

CAELEY TAN 21st 2:23.03s



600m BOYS U13

DANIEL TANG 3rd 1:53.07s

SEAN KHOO 6th 1:56.17s

LI JIANG TIAN 16h 2:06.30s

ZAK BROWN 34th 2:24.27s



600m GIRLS U13

RAMAA 6th 2:10.36s

LAKSHAYAA 17th 2:20.82s

ALEESYA 2:26.07s



50m GIRLS U8

STELLA 4th 10.46s

NATALIE CHEN 5th 10.48s

IRA JOSHI 11th 11.71s



80m BOYS U9

JOHN LIM 5th 13.91s

KIREN MENON 6th 13.98s



80m GIRLS U9

ISABEL NG 15.05s



100m BOYS U11
SHEHAN THOMAS GEORGE 29th 16.64s



100m GIRLS U11

LOW ANN EE 33rd 17.57s

AAISHA 52nd 19.52s



100m BOYS U12

SOUSUKE PARKER 2nd 14.43s

MAX LEE 22nd 15.89s

KOSUKE 39th 16.39s



100m BOYS U13

IAIN WONG 24th 15.32s



SHOTPUT BOYS U13

DAVID WONG 13th 6.26m

WELL DONE ATHLETES!

49th Singapore Athletics Inter-Club Championship 2017

Posted on Categories Blog

by Coach Jack

The meet was held on 28th Oct (Saturday) and 29th Oct (Sunday) at Home of Athletics (Kallang Practice Track).

Two of our Girls (Isabella Ghersi and Indira Patel) represented Swift AA in the recently concluded meet and run amazing races.

Isabella Ghersi won the Women 1500m in 4:57.15 and on the following day won the Women 800m with another strong run and set a personal best time of 2:18.05.
On Sunday, Indira Patel won the Women 5000m in 18:53.68 and setting a New Championship Record.

Well done Girls, we are proud of your achievements!