Wellness Wednesday – 11/18/20
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Mind Over Matter: Mental Toughness in Ultra-Marathon Runners
Ultra-endurance events are reserved for athletes who are willing to go beyond the typical marathon distance of 42 kilometers, or engage in physical exertion for more than six hours.
New research published in the journal PLOS One looks at the role of mental toughness in the performance of ultra-endurance runners. The study suggests that the “mind over matter” philosophy is a real phenomenon, but it can only get you so far.
For on-foot ultra-marathons, the most common physical reasons for withdrawal include nausea, vomiting, blisters and muscle pain. Intense fatigue usually also spawns unpleasant emotions and negative thoughts.
When compared to athletes in sports like hockey and football, researchers discovered ultra-marathon runners possessed significantly higher levels of mental toughness. In terms of which specific characteristics led to greater mental toughness, such as confidence, commitment, personal responsibility or control over one’s thoughts — “self-efficacy” scored high.
Having advanced knowledge of the mechanisms underpinning mental toughness could also help sport psychologists and coaches create more effective and targeted training programs. Some may argue people are just born with greater levels of mental toughness and it’s in their genes. Others claim this can be developed over time as a result of individual experiences. It seems the age-old nature versus nurture debate persists.
Eating Chili Peppers Cuts Risks for Heart Disease and Cancer
Previous studies have shown that spicy food can have a positive impact on your health. Now, a study released by the American Heart Association has a new take on the topic. Researchers say eating chili pepper isn’t just good for your health, it can help you live longer by reducing heart disease and cancer.
The study finds consuming chili peppers cuts the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 26%. The odds of dying from cancer decreased by 23% compared to people who don’t include peppers in their diet.
One of the key findings is that chili peppers act as a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and blood-glucose regulator. This is due to the release of capsaicin into an eater’s system. This substance gives a pepper its trademark mild to intense spicy flavor.
Using Multiple Devices at Once is Causing Your Memory to Fail
A new study from Stanford asserts that multitasking prevents young people from remembering what they’ve done and seen, especially when they’re flipping from screen to screen.
The study looked specifically at the effect of “media multitasking” on memory. Media multitasking is moving continually between screen-based activities: texting, checking Instagram, or watching a TikTok video, for example.
Researchers recruited 80 subjects, ages 18 to 26. As these individuals participated in experimental exercises, researchers tracked their lapses in attention by monitoring their posterior alpha power brain wave activity and changes to the sizes of their pupils.
Researchers found that people less able to sustain attention and those who reported being heavy media multitaskers both performed more poorly at memory tasks.