A new Australian study suggests that the faster speed that athletes achieve when taking performance-enhancing drugs is all in the mind. The study compared athletes on growth hormones with those given a placebo. Those taking the dummy pills sprinted faster, jumped higher and were able to lift heavier weights than those taking the hormones. The results imply that if you think you will perform better, you really will. That's not news to many professional athletes who for years have used creative visualisation to boost performance. "If you visualise being stronger, running faster or winning, you are priming your nervous system to do just that," says Dr Aimee Kimball, the director of mental training in sports medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. "Studies have found that the method can enhance physical performance significantly, sometimes by 20 per cent or more."
What to do: Visualise your forthcoming race or match. See yourself win with ease, confidence and coordination, in as much detail as possible. Feel the appropriate emotions as you play and win, and get a sense that you really "know" you can do it. Read more
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Think Yourself Well
Positive thinking can help ease pain, improve fitness, and prevent illness. Herbalist and hypnotherapist Anastasia Stephens explains nine ways to think yourself better.