Did you know that bicyclists ride faster when they travel in groups or pairs? We didn’t know this fact for certain until psychologist Norman Triplett confirmed this more than 100 years ago, in 1898 to be specific. That’s when the field of sports, or fitness, psychology began at Indiana University.
Fitness psychology is used for people interested in advanced well-being, not simply cardio or resistance exercise. Number one among these sophisticated pathways is maintaining a positive attitude towards fitness. It’s simply imperative.
Beyond staying mentally positive, fitness psychology recognizes 8 other areas that athletes and exercise adherents benefit from:
- anxiety control
- goal setting
- communication and intra-team dynamics
- creative visualization
- internal dialogue
- time management
Whether you are an athlete who wants to enhance your performance or a several times a week gym attendee who wants to improve your psychological well-being throughout your life, spending some time with our fitness psychologist may be just the thing to give you the edge you are looking for.
Positive attitudes and fitness are intimately related. The Association for Applied Sports Psychology suggests developing a positive affirmation to rely upon when you just can’t find your energy or motivation. Dr. Mantell, the Sporting Club’s fitness psychologist, carries with him a list of these optimistic “I can do it” cues and is always available to toss one your way when you need it.
“Stay focused on what’s in the glass, not what’s missing from it,” he suggests. At the same time, he advises that exercise goals be “SMART” – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. He likes helping athletes and exercise devotees create mental movies in which they see themselves actually running that extra ten minutes, doing a few more reps or another set, or showing up another day for a workout. He can show you how to produce, and star in, your very own fitness-boosting mental movie.
One of Dr. Mantell’s professors at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Martin Seligman, created the field of “positive psychology” and was among the first to investigate how people can create positive attitudes for many areas of performance, fitness being only one.
Marie-Josee Salvas Shaar, MAPP, reported 10 simple methods based on positive psychology to develop and further fitness and exercise. These include:
- Sleep enough and eat nutritiously.
- Get into a good mood before working out.
- Other people matter, so get an “accountability partner.”
- Work from your strengths to increase your fitness.
- Enjoy your burn.
- Involve your mind to lear
- about cardio, endurance, strength and flexibility training.
- Chart your progress.
- Get in flow by chunking down your work-out sessions into manageable parts.
- Use the peak-end rule so that you love the end of your work-out, at it’s peak.
- Get good mind fuel after exercise and avoid what’s not enjoyable.
Our Club has the finest environment, equipment and staff to help you achieve your health, well-being, fitness and performance goals. It’s up to you to take advantage of these industry-leading services.
From enhancing your individual performance, finding your motivation to returning to exercise after an injury or during rehabilitation, to helping you simply stick to your training schedule with realistic goals, learning increased concentration and self-confidence, you will improve not only your body but other areas of your life as well.