How success, stress and sport are related
Stress in the office, stress reduction on the training ground. Just one of the many points of connection that stress and sport have with each other. Stress can inhibit exercise, but training can also relieve stress. What at first sounds like a paradox is reality in the often ignored interaction of body and mind.
Because almost every working athlete has experienced it before: One of those terribly long days at work that did not want to end. Stress with the project, trouble with the project Chef, And at this point the sports community is divided into two groups:
- After a day like this, one of them goes on the train and trains all the anger and frustration from the soul. The perfect example of stress relief through sport.
- The other group is thrown out of the way by the stress but sustainably, the motivation for the training sinks to zero and the results are not even with good will to see positively.
The brain is training
Many will have already found themselves in one or the other group - the interesting thing is that there is a constant change between the two camps. Who today with some extrarunds on the bench turned the anger to the boss into sweat, tomorrow can be so distracted from the thought of the work so that he counted himself in the repetitions.
And here, once again, the human brain comes into play. Because this is just as responsible for a good training as the right equipment for a runner - how essential this is, shows this further text.
- But how does stress affect the training?
- How can it be combated?
- And why can ignoring your own mental performance limit be fatal?
The questions are answered below.
Stress - the facts
Stress, everyone knows, everyone feels different, but what exactly is it? Strictly according to the lexicon, stress (from Latin for more stringent "tensing") is the physical and psychological reaction to external stress - the stressor.
The background is mainly evolutionary: stress makes a person more powerful for a certain period of time. Our ancestors were thus more alert and had faster reactions.
How Eustress works
In today's technical language, this phase is referred to as eustress. So a stress that only has a positive effect. However, if the mammoths were too long on the game, the peak was eventually exceeded: the stress level remained the same, the performance curve but fell rapidly and sank down. Today, doctors speak of distress. Simply put, any eustress can become a distress: it only has to last long enough.
This means that the person can withstand little stress over long periods of time, or greater stress through correspondingly shorter phases. This is called stress tolerance and is different in each of them, this article locates its roots even in infancy.
When stress becomes a problem
But, as soon as the personal peak is exceeded, so much power can be demanded, the body can no longer deliver it. After each stress the body needs a recovery phase. In the working life of normal athletes, for example, the evening of work and a night of good sleep are enough. It is critical, however, if the body is required too hard for too long without it being able to recover sufficiently.
Like every machine, the organism also shows signs of failure that become stronger as long as the body is refused recovery:
- Slight concentration weaknesses become memory gaps.
- Stomach problems such as heartburn become anorexia and ultimately ulcers.
- The immune system can no longer work effectively: infections spread faster, muscle pain becomes stronger and longer.
- The capacity for restful sleep is initially weakened by falling asleep, and later even inhibited.
- Irritation develops into mood fluctuations and ultimately to depression and its consequences.
Depression caused by stress
Especially the depression is the psychological problem for athletes, because they can ruin any motivation, so that not even a rudimentary training can be maintained. Critical: You can really prevent depression according to this article does not.
The only remedy is to break the stress before the mood problems develop into depression. It is also extremely important not to ignore these physical signals from misunderstood bravery. Stress is also used by competitive athletes, as will be seen later, but only some of their effects are later revealed.
Why sports stress can reduce
For most, sport is a distraction from work - about sitting office activity. In such jobs, the stress has mainly psychological reasons, less physical. Here recreation phases help a stressed organism.
The trick here: This recovery must be only partly synonymous with "rest". It just has to reduce the stressors - how that happens, the body is initially completely the same, even movement reduces stress, how this contribution clearly.
Real rest is necessary
Of course, he also needs real rest - but he also gets it with a healthy sleep during the night, so it does not have to be generated additionally. And those who take up their training at this point after work actively intervene in the balance of the balance "Stresserzeuger - Stressabbau".
After all, sport is a relaxation factor, even if it is practiced so hard. The stressors that result from the work are thus relieved, relaxation takes place.
How sport and training eliminate stress
And best of all, training can not only eliminate the normal everyday eustress, but also (to a certain extent) the distress.
An example: At work a project is called, which demands several weeks of the highest achievements. First of all, these require Eustress, which can be combated in two ways:
- Regular training after the end of the evening. Or, if that is not possible
- Extensive training at the weekend
In our example, the stress on the work is so great that these two training variants can not completely dismantle him.
Adjust the stress level
So there is always a certain residual stress that accumulates over the course of the weeks and accumulates together with the ever-new stress to the distress. At the end of the project, the professional sportsman is now quite exhausted - and is therefore not used to the usual training efforts - but now he needs lasting relaxation.
And because this can also be ensured through sport, he does not have to go on vacation, but can steer his stress level back into his usual routine through longer and stronger training - provided of course the other stressors are reduced. So for example by normal "service by regulation" instead of highest project requirements.
Why sports can cause additional stress
However, it is quite different when sport itself becomes a stressor. This can be done by way of overstated training targets, or even during the preparation for a competition. And here, the stress mechanisms in the body are exactly the same as the stress that is generated at work. For example, fear can come into play, which also stresses how this subject is explained in detail.
Even if a person is on a training plateau, stress can arise: How can I achieve higher performance? Why does my body react only weakly to the training?
When Eustress becomes a distress
And here Eustress and Distress come to bear again: In the early stages of the Eustress ensures that can be trained harder. The mind provides a boundless will to win. But if the athlete is not enough and he always demands the body only "more", here comes inevitably the point at which the distress outweighs: The benefits fall, and as much as you force yourself, the body does not play with.
Then, however, sport is no longer the possibility of recreation for the body, which he still presents with other stressors because he himself became a source of stress. Now, trainers are stuck in a pinch and have to find another way to reduce stress.
Why athletes are better prepared for stress
The fact that sports stress can reduce and simultaneously cause stress is now clear. But he is also a third option. After all, those who regularly exercise sports are also better prepared to deal with stress and physical and psychological consequences.
For example, aerobic persistence training: the cardiovascular system strengthens and lowers the resting pulse permanently. If the affected person is now stressed, his pulse and his blood pressure also rise. However, the fact that his heart is trained is much less conducive to an unsporting person who is confronted with an otherwise level of stress.
With untrained people, the resting pulse is anyway quite high - so the pulse-increasing effect of stress has a much more serious effect than with an athlete whose heart acknowledges the usual stresses with a low resting pulse.
Mental training ensures routine in the mind
Likewise, the mental stress of competitions also ensures a gradual routine in the mind: So who, for example, every week has to get a grip on the certain "nervous flutter" before a football game and has learned to deal with it, will react much more relaxed in other similar stress situations - The initially mentioned stress tolerance shifts upwards.
However, even fully-trained athletes who have learned to cope with the toughest mental demands have a limit that is beyond professional stress according to this message Depression is widespread. It only takes them longer to reach this limit.
Football - and of course many other sports - can help to regulate one's own stress level and thus promote professional success.
For sports and stress go hand in hand, both in the case of degradation, as well as in the production and the hardening against stress. Important for athletes is only to know their own limits and to accept them. Of course, it is one thing to conquer the inner pig dog, but it is quite another thing to make stress killer sport a stressful one.
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