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Guided Imagery Offers Benefits to Athletes of All Ages

03 Sep

Whether you are a grad student engaged in your own athletic program, a senior citizen maintaining an active lifestyle, a team or individual coach or a soccer mom hoping your children’s athletic pursuits will not interfere with their academic performance (while trying to keep up with your children and maintain your own fitness regimen) there is good news for you.

Numerous recent studies on the benefits of physical activity  and school athletics have been performed by heavy-hitters like The CDC, U. S. Department of Education, American Public Health Association, New York City Health Department, Columbia University and universities of California, Illinois, Central Florida and West Virginia, to name a few. Study results vary widely, but the consensus is that physical activity and athletic pursuits have a positive impact on classroom behavior, cognitive skills and academic performance.

 One after another study concluded that increasing students’ physical activity boosts their academic performance. Some studies involved only athletic or physical education programs, while others tested all extracurricular programs, including school bands and drama clubs, but the results were similar.  This news also shed light on the many aspects of athletic coaching.

Coaches have been ahead of the game by using mental rehearsal and guided imagery, to mentor individual athletes or spur a whole team to victory.  They motivate their athletes to achieve outcomes, whether it’s completing a touchdown or golf stroke, and many use mental imagery for that purpose.

Whether or not you are beginning a new school year, early fall is a great time to begin an exercise or athletic program, and it’s good to know that these physical pursuits have beneficial effects on other areas of your life. Early fall at Health Journeys brings questions from coaches, high-school and college athletes and parents of young athletes requesting recommendations of guided imagery to accompany athletic pursuits, as well as welcome comments from those who have successfully used our programs to boost physical and academic performance.

Some all-time-favorites, David Illig’s Peak Performance Sports (a favorite among coaches), Belleruth’s Self-Confidence & Peak Performance and Emmett Miller’s Optimal Performance are among our recommendations for athletes of virtually all ages and skill levels. We also offer a wide range of products that help athletes deal with specific problems that interfere with performance, such as the Visual Eyes series, by Linda LeClaire and Bryce Young. The first in this series, From Anger to Athletic Excellence, addresses issues like frustration and fear of failure. Other titles in the series are dedicated to specific sports, such as basketball, baseball, tennis and golf. These are widely used by personal trainers.

Our Sports Performance Optimization Pack, which provides four time-tested CD’s to enhance performance, at a savings of $20 off the list price of each, is also an excellent recommendation for serious sports enthusiasts. For those who want to face new challenges of any kind with confidence, energy and determination, we recommend our Build a New You Kit, which contains Belleruth’s Self-Confidence & Peak Performance, Martha Howard’s Keys to Your Highest Potential and Emmett Miller’s Optimal Performance.

As always, our best-selling Healthful Sleep is recommended when preparing for any type of performance. It’s wonderful for getting a good night’s sleep before the big game or dress rehearsal. For those who tend to get in their own way by creating last-minute drama, Dr. Traci Stein’s Guided Meditation to Help Free Yourself from Procrastination might be just the thing to get you on track.

No sports bag would be complete without our fantastic Sombra gel. This amazing concoction is available in warm, to soothe aching, overworked muscles or for a pre-game warm-up; or cool, to calm injured muscles or any time a cool pack is recommended.  Tuck a roll-on in your sports bag and keep a jar in your medicine cabinet.
 
With all this good news about the positive effects of physical activity, the beautiful fall weather and so many resources available to help us, there is even more reason to get up and get going. Let us know your experiences with your particular sports programs. As always, we would love to hear from you.

Maggie DeMellier

Maggie DeMellier has been Health Journeys go-to customer service representative and marketing associate since March 2012. She worked as a surgical technician and pharmacy technician before she earned a BA in Mass Media Communication at The University of Akron. She operates a freelance writing business, specializing in medical ads, news articles, police blotters, features and business writing.  She was a teacher at a career college for six years, and earned a MA in Forensic Psychology in 2010. Maggie is the co-author of Parenting by Law or Grace, published by Synchronisity Press, in 2004.