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Stress reactivity to and recovery from a standardised exercise bout.

15 Aug

Stress reactivity to and recovery from a standardised exercise bout: a study of 31 runners practising relaxation techniques.

Researchers at Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, compared the value different kinds of relaxation techniques for improving post-exercise muscle pain in adult, male runners over a 6 month period. Thirty-one runners were divided up into 3 groups: a meditation group (n = 11); an autogenic training group (a simple self-hypnosis technique similar to the Relaxation Response) (n = 11) and a control group (n = 10). Before and after the six months relaxation training, measures of reactivity to exercise were taken immediately after and 10 minutes after exercise, as well as indicators of metabolic activity (blood lactate concentration, heart rate (HR), and oxygen consumption (VO2)). Resting heart rate was also assessed weekly at home during the trial. State anxiety was measured before and after the training period. Investigators found that after the relaxation training, post-exercise blood lactate concentration - a key factor in post exercise muscle pain - was significantly decreased in the meditation group (p<0.01) as compared with the control group. No difference was observed in lactate responses between the autogenic training group and the control group. There were no significant differences among the groups with regard to heart rate, oxygen consumption, or levels of anxiety. The study tentatively concludes that meditation training may reduce the lactate response to a standardized exercise bout.

Citation: Solberg EE, Ingjer F, Holen A, Sundgot-Borgen J, Nilsson S, Holme I. Stress reactivity to and recovery from a standardised exercise bout: a study of 31 runners practising relaxation techniques. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2000 Aug;34(4): pp. 268-72. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award