Intellect and Physical Exercise

Who I am
Louise Hay

Author and references

As Carl Lewis said in a famous commercial: "POWER IS NOTHING WITHOUT CONTROL". This statement leads us to the idea that the psychological approach to performance is remarkable; and if we talk about control we will talk about the Nervous System, therefore the brain: our "on-board computer". The brain, a fascinating organ, dictates the rhythms of daily life through electrical impulses which are, depending on the activity that is being shaped (including sports), more or less intense. This organ, which has always exerted an immeasurable fascination, works through an intense electrical activity that varies in the order of 24 hours. The intensity of the impulses is measured in HERTZ, frequencies divided into four types of rhythms, or brain waves, by Dr. Berger in 1929.

BETA RHYTHM: It is the rhythm of acute stress (LIKE WHEN YOU TRAIN HARD), with frequencies above 14 hertz. Characterized by purely mental tension, almost entirely turned outwards, it allows a rapid reaction to stimuli by governing the speed of execution. It also coincides with the REM sleep phase, which is when we dream. This rhythm is associated with the maximum expenditure of physical and nervous energy, therefore, in the long term, with the maximum deterioration from overworking.

ALPHA RHYTHM: It is the rhythm of mitigating, therefore of the decrease in brain activity, with frequencies ranging between 8 and 13 hertz. In subjects who do not have any pathologies in charge, this state is generated involuntarily by closing the eyes. It is in this state that inner self-control and the creative spirit are favored. Aggregated with visualization practices, the alpha rhythm will have a high somatic influence (eg yoga).

RHYTHM THETA: Here the frequency fluctuates between 4 and 7 hertz. It constitutes the cerebral iteration in the state of semi-sleep, which physiologically is produced in enormous quantities during the pre-sleep phase (or hypnagogic state). In this phase the conscience is split into waking conscience and dream.

DELTA RHYTHM: Occurs in deep sleep, a phase where no oneiric activity occurs, and with intense muscle relaxation. Here, the frequencies in hertz are usually below 3. This phase is also known for maximal production of growth hormone or GH. It is also the highlight of all the regenerative processes and for the formation of ENDOFARMACI, which will be activated thanks to the sense of tranquility. The rhythm mentioned above is totally under the control of the parasympathetic nervous system. If this is altered, the subject sleeps badly, tends to be tired, to have psychosomatic disorders and to get sick very easily.

Science shows that athletes achieve their best performance when the brain rhythm is in "alpha", which is when our brain exercises a brain wave rhythm capable of allowing a "relaxed but alert consciousness". This state can be conquered with psychic training, through autogenic training exercises. Practicing this technique is essential since it will initially take several minutes to get closer to the ideal state. Only after becoming familiar with the autogenic training technique, it is possible to induce the psyche to stabilize in alpha in a few seconds. "Staying in alpha" means going to visualize the movements that will take place in a few moments: for example a sprint.

For those who carry out a rather intense fitness activity, the state of concentration is essential, because it improves performance. We often hear about psychophysical balance !! Well, in order for it to take place, the subject must be able to lower the brain frequency in a few moments, to transition from a "beta" context to an "alpha" context. Numerous professional athletes possess this innate ability. Psychic conditioning can be obtained both with autogenic training and with meditation exercises, i.e. disinterested in the surrounding world when maximum concentration is needed. This applies not only to professional javelinists or shooters (bow, rifle etc), but also to those who train in the weight room with high loads.

It should therefore always be kept in mind that concentration is a determining element for all those who love to practice sport.

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