“Top athletes are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile”—– Vince Lombardi
As an athlete, you know that regular exercise is good for your body. But exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental game. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, and more. It also relieves your stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to give you a mental boost and improve your football mental toughness.
Research on sports psychology for football suggests the negative effects of stress on the body seem to be exaggerated in athlete who are inactive, a phenomenon called “stress-induced/exercise deficient” phenotype. Because you react to stress by experiencing changes in your neuro-endocrine systems, regular exercise is protective because it regulates various metabolic and psychological processes in the body, including reinforcing your natural circadian rhythms, sleep/wake cycles, moods and blood sugar levels.
Exercises also improves your insulin sensitivity, help you become more aware of your hunger levels, improves football confidence, and leads to better mental processing on game day. As your confidence grows, your football mental toughness reaches to a new level. It’s like strengthening a muscle. The more you practice, the stronger you become.
Research shows that athletes who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their peers. A recent study reveals that exercise increases brain serotonin function in humans. Serotonin is an important brain chemical that helps to elevate your mood and stop you from feeling down or depressed.
There are two mechanisms by which physical activity increases your brain serotonin. First, motor activity increases the rate and frequency at which serotonin is “fired” within the brain, resulting in an increase in both the release and synthesis of it. Secondly, regular exercise increases the level of tryptophan in the brain (an amino acid used to manufacture serotonin). However, it is clear that exercise including aerobic improves mood through increasing brain serotonin levels.
Prolonged periods of stress can deplete serotonin levels. Serious and systematic stress can have an impact on the body’s ability to produce and synthesize serotonin. This means that you should stay away from stressful situations as much as possible, and improve your mental skills to deal with stress once it comes your way.
Stress is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated problems in. Diet, sleep, and exercise are all important, but mental and physiological stress will undermine your best attempts at anything unless you manage them.
By rewiring your football mind to handle stress more efficiently, you will become a more effective person on and off the field, and the stress you do experience will be the kind that makes
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