Mindfulness & Endurance Athletes in Menopause
Attention endurance athletes in menopause: If you’re in the menopause transition, and especially if you’re also an endurance athlete, it may be worthwhile to include a mindfulness practice in your day.
A recent study using hair samples from more than 200 women and men (primarily women) participating in a nine-month mindfulness training program shows that mindfulness practice can help lower stress in a particular moment and long term. The longer the stress lasts, the more cortisol concentration circulates in the body and the more it accumulates in our hair. After six months of mindfulness training, the cortisol in the participant’s hair decreased on average by 25%.
– did you know that intense aerobic exercise, especially endurance sports, elevates cortisol (stress) levels? Research has shown endurance athletes have higher cortisol levels in hair samples compared to their peers who don’t engage in endurance sports.
Many diseases are directly or indirectly related to long-term #stress (such as depression), and mindfulness can help alleviate general stress levels.
Used together, mindfulness and relaxation training protect against the emotional and cognitive impacts of high-demand, high-stress times—if you practice regularly.
So, if you don’t have a mindfulness routine, consider it. Remember, meditation doesn’t have to be long or complicated — it’s about taking a moment to be present. You can find a 4-minute guided mindfulness meditation and more on our resources page. Check out this page for more about #mindfulness.