It’s often been said that where the mind goes, the body follows. So it’s no surprise that meditation has become an increasingly popular, if not essential, part of countless fitness and training programs.
Does it really help, though? Research seems to indicate that it does. In one landmark Cleveland Clinic study, when test subjects used visualization techniques — imagining themselves performing exercises — they experienced physical strength gains of up to 53 percent. And a review of 47 trials published in JAMA Internal Medicine confirmed that meditation can help alleviate anxiety, depression and physical pain. Meditation has been found to reduce levels of cortisol, allowing you to recover as quickly as possible, and thus to train more often and more effectively. Here’s how to reap the rewards of meditation in your training.