Sports and exercise

The ‘runner's high’ is a term used to describe a euphoric state experienced by distance runners, although it is now thought this phenomenon is not exclusive to running.
Personality can have a significant impact on sporting performance at the highest level - and those with narcissistic tendencies often increase their effort when the pressure is on.
This has been a significant year for the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology.
Sports stars who retire from their profession without making preparations beforehand may encounter difficulties and feel restricted when looking to change career.
If you enjoyed our story Can you simulate the pressure of the Games? looking at how athletes prepare themselves for the unique pressures of the Olympic Games and have tried our online experiment, you might be interested in BBC Lab UK's new web based test.
Superstition is irrational, so is religion.  It can be considered irrational to believe that God created the universe in light of the existing scientific facts….. some people go to church even though they don’t believe in God, as some athletes engage in superstitious rituals but don't believe in them.
Athletes’ experiences of being ‘in the zone’ were the subject of a video installation displayed at the 2012 Annual Conference of the Society’s Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section in London in April. The Zone, a 10-minute film, uses athletes’ own descriptions of being in a state of peak performance, voiced by actors and set against imaginative footage of sports’ venues such as gyms, running tracks and swimming pools.
Athletes who have attended previous major international sports events will have experienced similar pressure, but outside the emotional cauldron of an Olympic stadium the pressure is hard to imagine and probably impossible to replicate.
In 2008 Michael Phelps was on his way to the trials for the 2008 US Olympic swimming team when he saw an advertisement for the US Athletics team trials.  It read “Toughest team to qualify for”. Phelps completely disagreed.  Three athletes get to go to the Games for each event in athletics; only two get to go for swimming.
An article in the British Journal of Nursing uses the case study of an 18-year-old track athlete with a chronic Achilles tendinopathy to identify risk factors associated with training for major athletic events, such as the forthcoming Olympic Games. It also presents evidence for adopting a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment and management of athletic injury, addressing the physical aspects of the injury, as well as the psychological needs of the athlete.
Exercise is known to be good for people with mental health problems, yet taking part in elite sport poses unique challenges to athletes’ mental health. That was the paradox discussed at a roundtable on sport and mental health that took place between four Chartered Psychologists at the Society’s Annual Conference in London, in April. The roundtable was chaired Emeritus Professor Ken Brown, Chair of the Society’s Standing Conference Committee.
Although sport is played with the body, it is won in the mind. As Novak Djokovic, the world number one tennis player, revealed, “the difference between the top players is the mental ability to cope with pressure … and stay calm." Clearly, the ability to focus effectively in the heat of competition – when taking a penalty kick or golf putt – is vital for success in sport. And the good news is that this mental skill can be developed through appropriate training and practice.
A new course has been announced as part of a Scottish mental health initiative aimed at helping individuals to learn basic wilderness skills. Run by Forestry Commission Scotland, the Branching Out programme - which also encourages people to take part in conservation activities - will now be running a new 12-week scheme in East Renfrewshire. Participants will join in a number of pursuits helping them to get closer to nature, such as forest photography, tree identification, tai chi, site walks, willow weaving and hut building.
A selection of the latest research into the coach/athlete relationship and how it meets the psychological needs of athletes will be presented as part of a symposium, which takes place today (18 April) at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference held in London. Regarded as one of the most important and influential factors on athletes, the rapport between coach and athlete can affect their performance, personal development, psychological well-being and continued participation in sport.
Superstitions can help footballers control their anxiety before a game. That is the finding of research presented at the British Psychology Society Annual Conference, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London this week.
A study has shown that taking part in a Tai Chi exercise programme reduced the number of falls and increased mobility in a group of senior citizens in assisted living in the US.
Today (18 April) marks the 100-day countdown to the London Olympic Games.  Over the next few months, as London gets ready to host this great sporting event, the British Psychological Society's Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP) aims to show the part psychology plays in making the Olympics and Paralympics the greatest psychological shows on earth.
Whether you like classical, death metal or skiffle, listening to your own choice of music could improve your enjoyment of taking part in competitive sports and improve performance, a study has found.
Many sportsman have claimed that the period of time just before a sporting encounter starts can be very important in determining the result of the competition.
Professional footballers are better at abstract thinking and have superior executive functions than those with less talent in the game.
Thinking they look good in their sports kit does not necessarily mean a person is any more likely to perform well at events such as the Olympic Games.
A selfless fan has shown his Olympic spirit by offering tickets for the London Games to the friends and family of a British athlete.
The potentially harmful effect of ultra-thin models and air-brushed female celebrities on the body image and self-esteem of women is well documented. Could the increasing participation of women in professional sport prompt the media to p
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