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January 02, 2018

Jumpstart 2018 with the USA Archery Quarterly Challenge

Happy New Year! To jumpstart your 2018 New Years' Resolutions, we are sharing the USA Archery High Performance Newsletter's Quarterly Challenge. Every three months, USA Archery Education and Training Manager Guy Krueger poses a challenge to help you grow and develop as an archer, coach, athlete and person. If you have not yet subscribed to the USA Archery High Performance Newsletter, please email us and we will add you to the list.

Take The Challenge

There are little changes and improvements we can make in our normal routines that can lead to big impacts in our lives, our coaching, and our performance. The Quarterly Challenge was created with that in mind. Each quarter, USA Archery will propose a new Quarterly Challenge that is based on some aspect of high performance, coaching or personal growth. Each challenge is a call to learn something new, challenge your practice, and grow to become the best version of yourself through action. I will be doing the challenge alongside you and will follow up on my progress. Learn, Take Action, and Grow. We're all in this journey together.

Take the Challenge,

Guy Krueger

Education and Training Manager


Increasing Brain Function through Mild Cardiovascular Activity 

The first Quarterly Challenge is based on the ideas and evidence presented in the book, Brain Rules by Dr. John Medina. Start off your day, training, or coaching session with 30 minutes of mild intensity cardiovascular exercise 3 days a week about an hour before you start your session. Mild intensity cardiovascular exercise can be classified as a level of intensity similar to walking briskly enough that you cannot hold a conversation.

Why is this beneficial?

Cardiovascular activity has been proven to boost a brain function called executive function. Executive function is involved in planning, foresight and impulse control and helps with attention to detail and problem-solving skills. These skills and abilities are highly beneficial to coaching, training, and competing. Dr. Medina also goes on to explain in Brain Rules that aerobic activity and an active lifestyle also play a huge role in how well the brain ages and in memory retention as we get older.

Can I just lift weights or do circuit training instead? 

Not according to Dr. John Medina. In an interview with BrainWorld Magazine Dr. Medina states "you can increase executive function simply by aerobically exercising as little as three times a week for 30 minutes. It's actually very specific. Toning exercise doesn't give you a boost in executive function. Lifting weights doesn't either." According to Brain Rules, executive function really starts to get a boost about an hour after a standard aerobic workout. Although weight training is an important element in training and maintaining a healthy life, it does not increase brain function.

How does this work?

According to Brain Rules, cardiovascular exercise increases the flow of oxygen to the brain which typically accompanies an increase in mental sharpness. Cardiovascular activities also directly impact the molecular make-up of the brain by increasing neurons and their resistance.

The Challenge

This quarter's challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to do 30 minutes of mild cardiovascular activity 3 times per week for the next two to three months. It would be a good idea to track how you feel over the next couple of months as you progress. It is also important to note that before starting this challenge, you should be cleared by a certified health care professional to perform this type of physical activity.

Share Your Progress

Check in with us on this quarterly challenge using hashtag #USAArcheryChallenge to share your progress on social media. Post a sweaty selfie, a log of your workout, or a great end on the target. Keep your teammates and friends accountable and support each other in our efforts to become better athletes!

Good luck!


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