You might think it’s obvious that if you have a tough day at work you’re going to have a worse than usual session on the water or on the slopes afterwards.
What you may not realise is just how closely related those two things are.
In a study by S. Macora, subjects sat and played a simple and fairly mind numbing (I’ve played them) computer game for 90 minutes. The game was ridiculously simple where shapes or letters appeared on a screen and subjects had to press a button depending on what they are shown.
Well yes, but the point is that you have to pay attention for 90 minutes.
What’s incredible is that after these 90 minutes were up, the subjects reached physical exhaustion 15% sooner in an all out cycling test.
The implications of this study are huge and indeed are being investigated by the British military as a way of extending physical endurance by subjecting candidates to repeated “brain endurance training.” Thus building mental and by implication physical endurance. (It’s not currently known if this works in the other direction so to speak)
But the possibilities if it does are pretty amazing. Meaning that by increasing concentration and focus we can also build physical endurance.
The more immediate takeaway for us is to leave a gap between heavy mental work and our sessions.
Or don’t do your accounts just before you do your favourite sport.
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