Tag Archives: Sport

The Association between Physical Activity (PA) and Cognitive Ability

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The benefits

It is part of natural aging that our cognitive capabilities may diminish. Cognitive functioning is essential for quality of life, why preserving our mental abilities is in the interest of our well-being (Edwards & Loprinzi, 2017). Physical activity (PA) plays a crucial role in developing and protecting mental abilities.

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Use of Placebo Effects in Performance Enhancement

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Thanks to argentum (pixabay.com)

Bérdi, Köteles, Hevesi, Szabo, and Bárdos (2011) have found in their meta-analysis that placebo was stimulating psycho-motor performance, the influence of heart rate, and diastolic blood pressure. The psychological processes involved are classic conditioning, expectations, and anxiety, which can be interrelated mechanisms activating neurochemical components of the body (Babel, 2009). All, McClung and Collings (2007), Beedie and Foad (2009), and Bérdi et al. (2011) report significant performance benefits from the use of placebo drugs that may be the result of the psychological expectancy effect and not that of the pills at all. The study of Saunders et al. (2016) tested the effect of caffeine in the case of the training of cycling athletes not knowing that they ingested the performance increasing substance with the result, that only when caffeine was identified its effects were realized. On the other side, athletes who found out that their supplements did not contain caffeine were facing damage to their performance development (Saunders et al., 2016).

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Walking: A Wonderful Source of Energy

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My father used to say that if we were supposed to drive or fly we would have wheels or wings. That’s how he argued walking being the most natural way of moving.

That may sound like a little wisdom. However, moderate exercise is scientifically proven to be an excellent recipe to reach longevity in physical and mental youth. Many successful people consciously walk a lot. When did you go for a long walk the last time? Do you remember the refreshing effect of walking outside in the fresh air, meeting nature and the neighborhood? What else do we need for activating our body and inspiring our mind.

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Sport to increase self-control and reduce aggression

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It’s intriguing to look at self-control as a capacity to reduce aggression. In fact Galić and Ružojčić (2017) state that dispositional self-control, as measured with an according test, moderated negative behavior at work. Similarly, implicit self-control can be related to a reduction of anger and different types of aggression (Keatly, Allom, & Mullan, 2017).

Maybe like from the after-school anti-aggression sports program studied by Shachar, Ronen-Rosenbaum, Rosenbaum, Orkibi, and Hamama (2016), the impressive results including evidence for better self-control skills, reduced anger and less urge for physical aggression, could be replicated for adults. The program required the experiment group to sport five times a week, though. Would be interesting to know down to what intensity and frequency such a program would still yield similar benefits (Shachar et al., 2016).

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