By Megan Jones Bell
A strong mind creates a stronger body—find out how to train yours.
When you're focused, calm and present, you're more likely to achieve a new PR, sink the shot or finish faster. This strong mindset gives you the power to dial in to any moment to perform your best—whether you're training, competing or just doing everyday life.
"While you meditate, more blood flows to the grey matter in your brain (the stuff involved in muscle control and sensory perception), and it gets thicker and stronger".
Andy Puddicombe, Co-Founder of Headspace
Meditation is one of the best ways to achieve that outlook, says Andy Puddicombe, Nike Performance Council member and the co-founder of mindfulness app Headspace. While you meditate, more blood flows to the grey matter in your brain (the stuff involved in muscle control and sensory perception), and it gets thicker and stronger. This can help you to calm your nerves, doubts or anxiety in stressful moments, so that you can act with focus, thought and purpose.
You only need a few moments to tap into this power. Try this 20-second meditation: Take three deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth. Notice how your body feels, and let thoughts come and go.
Do this quick breathing practice a few times a day, and gradually increase the number of breaths you take while letting your thoughts pass. Eventually your mind can help take your body to the next level.