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Mindful Athlete

Meditation: Nature’s Performance Enhancement Drug?

November 19, 2015

Performance enhancing drugs continue to plague the athletics community, even after countless doping scandals. While some athletes try to acquire medals and championship through illegal means, there is a more natural solution. Meditation is not only great for reducing stress; it can also boost your athletic performance.

Believe it or not, doping is not a modern phenomenon. In ancient Greece, early Olympians took extracts from plants and animals to make herbal performance enhancements. Unfortunately, some Olympians continue to use drugs today; while the numbers of these athletes is unknown, it’s reported that only 10 percent of them are caught.

Taking performance enhancement drugs is a gamble on an athlete’s health and their career. On the other hand, meditation has no risks and it is a natural way of improving your skills and overall health. Want to learn more about meditations for athletes? Read four of the benefits below.

4 Tips for Meditating Athletes

  1. Connect with your body. Meditation calms your mind and has numerous mental health benefits. It can also help you connect with your body. With meditation, you learn to focus more on your breathing and the extension of your muscles. Being in tune with your body helps your athletic performance.
  2. Alleviate pain. In the past, research has shown that daily meditation can help your brain stay calm during sudden pain. In fact studies found that after five months of regular meditations participants had 40 to 50 percent less brain activity in response to pain. While meditation won’t numb you to pain, it will change how your body reacts to it.
  3. Keep your spirit up. To be a successful athlete you need motivation and meditation can help with that. Meditating reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, and it can keep your mood light. So when things gets tough meditation can help you keep going.
  4. Get some sleep. Do you suffer from insomnia before a competition? Using meditation long term can help with that. Some people are known to get more sleep every night if they practice meditation for 10 weeks.

The benefits of meditation are endless. Besides relieving stress and boosting athletic performances, meditation can help you lead to a longer life and improve memory. To learn more, check out these medical benefits of meditation.

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