From the New York Times…
If athletes practice meditation for a few minutes a day, they may become better able to withstand the mental demands of hours of strenuous physical training, according to an interesting new study of Division I college football players.
The study, which compared different types of mental training for stress resilience, could have relevance for anyone planning to start exercising or competing more intensely this summer.
Exercise, as most of us know, is a form of stress. The demands of exercise require our bodies to respond and adapt, and the greater the intensity of the exercise relative to our current fitness, the greater the level of stress it generates.
Much of this strain is physical, but some of it also involves the mind, says Amishi Jha, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Miami in Florida, who led the new study. Prolonged, strenuous training “requires attention,” she says, and a stern focus on continuing to exercise when it might be more pleasant to stop.