Its generic to say that running has shaped my life. From my choice of undergraduate school and education to where I choose to call home to what dictates my social calendar running is always present. My high school coach said, “Running is not a sport, its a lifestyle” and I’ve taken it to the point that is also shaped my career choices.
As an undergraduate I was inspired to study exercise biology in hopes of understanding how to train better. Since then the quest for the understanding the physiology behind performance has morphed to understanding the physiology behind disease, with exercise remaining the prominent perturbation of choice. In trying to understand how exercise protects against chronic disease I have studied molecular and physiological responses in anything from Drosophila (fruit flies) to humans. Still I am most excited by the clinical literature highlighting exercises beneficial effects in chronic disease prevention. My PhD mentor and I wrote a massive review article entitled “Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases” highlighting 35 different diseases in which the prevalence is decreased in physically active people, a document that I immensely proud. Much of the data used in that article is from epidemiological studies, such as the Framingham or Harvard Nurses cohort. One such epidemiology study that I am particularly fond of is the The National Walkers’ and Runners’ Health Studies. Continue reading