When training to excel at any sport, athletes go through intense physical strain. In many cases, this stress has a negative impact on their mental state as well.
A recent study conducted by Dr. Amishi Jha of the University of Miami in Florida tried to determine if a Mindfulness program given to Division I college football players might help to reduce some of the undesirable effects of the intense physical training on their thinking and emotions.
Although there were limitations to the study, the results were very promising. It found that, “those in the meditation group, if they had practiced often, showed considerable mental resilience, with higher scores than the other athletes in either group on the measures of both attention and mood.”
“These data suggest that mental training of almost any kind may help to alleviate some of the emotional and cognitive strain that otherwise occur during physical training…but mindfulness meditation was more effective than simple relaxation at helping athletes to maintain their ability to focus.”
So, whether you are a weekend warrior or a world class athlete, you may benefit by adding just a few extra minutes to your training regime for some mental training with the use of mindfulness meditation.
For more information on the study and the results check out the full NY Times article – To Train an Athlete, Add 12 Minutes of Meditation to the Daily Mix or the complete study published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement – “We Are Talking about Practice” : the Influence of Mindfulness v/s Relaxation Training on Athletes’ Attention and Well-Being over High-Demand Intervals.
Wishing you success in all aspects of life,
Founder and President
Smart Health Wellness and Performance