Mindfulness meditation beneficial for physical performance

Fitness experts call it bicep curls for the brain and aerobics for the mind. Whatever the name, athletes and gym addicts are discovering how mindfulness meditation can enliven a workout routine and invigorate a sports performance.

They say that mindfulness meditation, which focuses on the present moment to clear the mind, can help an exerciser overcome boredom and an athlete zero in on the task at hand.

“Mindfulness meditation is a hot topic actively studied in sports medicine,” said Gregory Chertok, a sports psychology consultant with the American College of Sports Medicine.

The art of living in the present moment is a critical skill in sports, Chertok said, because all performance occurs in the present and lamenting past failures can lead to muscle tension, anxiety and mental chatter that impairs concentration.

He said recent research indicated that meditation improves attention and sharpens impulse control.

One 2014 study published in the Psychological Science journal showed that 15 minutes of focused-breathing meditation may help athletes and exercisers make smarter choices.

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