Tag Archives: running

Image

Starting Grad School: The beauty of a clean lab book

Occasionally, I have the realisation that I am not entirely sane. Not in a catastrophic hearing-voices type way, but when I talk to myself and then remember that this is not normal. This morning I arrived at the sports centre to discover that circuits wasn’t on, and I would just have to go run in the gym instead. Upon finding my mp3 player in the bottom of my bag, and realising that I had in fact remembered to put it on hold (therefore meaning there was enough battery to get me through a 40 minute hill slog) I smiled and mentally called myself a good girl . Continue reading

Advertisements

#summergoals: How to survive July and August

At some stage yesterday, one of my Tweeps posted this article by Flora Poste about how to survive the summer without the structure of undergraduate teaching and other regular commitments to keep us in check. I think this is a topic I need to think about more, especially at the moment. I have a lot of … stuff … on my plate right now, and therefore not much lab work is getting done because I am easily distracted by a) moping about Alex, b) trying to fight fire in other quarters and c) faffing on the internet.  And I suffer from lab stage fright. The longer I go without doing things, the less gets done. And so now, after two weeks of moving house and giving a conference talk and … this week … I am getting to full on procrastinating-so-I-don’t-have-to-face-the-lab stage.

My friends and associates would have you believe that I am extraordinarily busy and organised. Little do they know that this is because I am incapable of getting anything done without structure. At school, university and in my first job I was superbly motivated and competent because I was busy all the time. As a PhD student I can regularly waste entire days achieving very little. At my best, I work incredibly efficiently by having every hour of the day scheduled: something that is very hard to do with a lab-based PhD!

So while my qPCR is running, and I am stuck here on a Friday afternoon while most of the lab skives off (PI is elsewhere today) here is my attempt to regulate myself for the next couple of weeks. The time scales are specific because I am really good at putting stuff off.

Continue reading

On a completely un-biological note…

This has been A Good Weekend.

Yesterday morning I did the Cancer Research Race for Life 10k (in just outside 46 minutes, which is 2 minutes faster than my PB, and raised over £100 on the way).

Yesterday evening I did a wholly different kind of outreach: classical singing with school kids.

And this afternoon I learned to barani. (Video below – not me – for those who aren’t into gymnastics)

 

And tonight I get to record some stuff with my a cappella group. All in all, a very good weekend 🙂 (Except for the bit where I’m sat in my office at work waiting for my ampicillin to defrost so I can put some cells on to culture over night!)

Also, just checked my stats and apparently I have a reader in Iceland?! How random… hi there Icelander!

Exercise doesn’t help with depression: or does it?

“Exercise can help people recover from depression and prevent them from becoming depressed in the first place.” NHS Choices

“Endurance exercise may help to achieve substantial improvement in the mood of selected patients with major depression in a short time.” Knubben et al (2007) Br J Sports Med 2007;41:29–33. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2006.030130

In the last decade, the medical community as a whole has come to appreciate that regular exercise can be a real and effective way to deal with mild depression. The Mental Health Foundation did a survey of English GPs that found 56% of them thought that a programme of exercise was ‘quite effective’ in treating mild to moderate depression.

Plenty of research is being done on the topic: a quick search of the ISI Web of Science search engine (the fastest way to search for academic research papers) for ‘exercise’ and ‘depression’ reveals 22 papers written in 2012 so far that have both words in the title. These vary from neurological assessments of mice in Neuroscience to randomised trials of the effects of yoga in Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Most recently, depression and exercise have hit the headlines in the last few days following a study that suggested this link didn’t actually exist.

Exercise doesn’t help, say the headlines

“Exercise doesn’t help depression, study concludes” says the Guardian. The Daily Mail,  Telegraph and Metro all carry similar stories. The study in question, published in the BMJ yesterday, is the first large scale randomised trial of its kind. It looked at the differences between patients on ‘conventional’ treatments alone (i.e. antidepressants or therapy) and those combining drugs with exercise. The results are fairly damning for proponents of physical activity.

Continue reading