Peak Performance — Beyond Stress, Symptoms & Basic Health
While fitness is the hallmark of Olympic athletes, peak performance training isn’t reserved just for those in the hunt for medals. Any game where bursts of high intensity or endurance are required –basketball, running, tennis, cross-fit, cycling, hockey, wrestling, football, running/sprinting, boxing, water polo, etc. will benefit from RF training. How so?
- Part of being in the zone is having the autonomic nervous system subconsciously “do the right thing” during game-time or during any challenging activity. This is a function of consciously training our physiology so that flow is not hi-jacked come performance time.
- Breathlessness during heavy exertion is quite common even amongst athletes. Part of being out of breath is due to insufficient oxygen making it to muscles that need it and decreased the ability for CO2 to be transported back to the lungs for exhalation. In other words, it is a result of the inefficiency of the circulatory system being able to exchange gases quickly enough to accommodate the increase in cellular respiration. Increasing CO2 adaptation through RF training results in blood vessel dilation making transport of key gases (O2, CO2, NO) throughout the circulatory system and airways that much more efficient.
- Increased CO2 in the circulatory system allows haemoglobin to release O2 as necessary to the muscles and tissues in need. This is the Bohr effect (oxyhemoglobin affinity) at work.
- pH imbalance resulting from lactic acid build up is less likely to occur during bursts of activity when the gas transport and exchange system mentioned above is more efficient. Lactic acid is removed or buffered out by heavier breathing. CO2 resulting from internal respiration can more easily be transported back to the lungs for exhalation or used for other internal chemistry purposes such as the building of important bicarbonates.
- pH balance is important for electrolyte flow and utilization during aerobic exercise.
Training Respiratory Fitness and CO2 adaptation are legal blood doping bio hack that Eastern bloc athletes have undertaken for years. Olympic athletes often train or live at altitude to secure the benefits of RF training. In addition to RF training, additional bio hacks offered by Breathing.coach can step up one’s game and increase health and longevity without having to move or train at higher elevations.
Note: It is important to have a base RF of 20 seconds before taking on more advanced techniques for improving athletic performance.
Students and Performing Artists
Nominal stomach butterflies can be helpful prior to a performance, but performance anxiety is debilitating – especially when competence and capacities need to be at their peak. Even when skilled in one’s art or prepared for an exam, the autonomic nervous system can hijack performance – leaving one embarrassed or ashamed. How does this happen?
Subconscious triggers from past experiences together with over-breathing can give rise to anxiety in even those most practised and prepared individuals. Mind over matter is not an option when the nervous system is hijacked. To mitigate this threat, RF and Tech Assisted Meditation can be lifesavers. The Better Being package services combine a variety of modalities and bio hacks to keep your systemcalm, cool and collected in those critical minutes. See Technologies and Services for more information.
This study shows how test anxious kids (ages 12-14) also have low CO2 levels (mild hyperventilation) in “high-stress” math test situations They also reported a higher degree of symptoms (based on Nijmegan Hyperventilation Questionnaire) than non-anxious kids.
Better Being and Consciousness Growth
Meditation is well known to be one of the most effective means of conditioning the mind for both an easier flow to life as well as consciousness growth. Flow is a migration away from the following:
- ruminating about past events
- worried/anxious about the future
- negative emotions / emotional charge (anger)
Study after study has shown the positive effects of meditation. Biofeedbackand RF training serves as prep work to more effective meditation for the following reasons:
- They settle a distracted mind by building attention skills.
- Respiratory fitness training tames respiration rates and extends the pause at the end of the exhale allowing for greater parasympathetic (vs sympathetic) activation during meditation.
- RF reduces a myriad of other symptoms that cause distraction or pain during meditation.
- Witnessing one’s physiology through biofeedback assists with reduction of arousal levels, naturally increases attention spans and mitigates distractions. The mind is given a “task” to keep it busy.
RF training includes several types of meditation and mindfulness practice that do not all involve sitting in one spot (some are walking meditations).Tech-Assisted Meditation through biofeedback and neurofeedback serve as additional training wheels to accelerate the benefits of meditation. Hence, it is included in the Better Being training package listed under Services
Parenting and Family Performance
Epigenetic research tells us that the environment sets the stage for both conscious and subconscious learning. As such, the environment shapes our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The environment has a profound effect on how one shows up in life, influencing one’s motivations, arousal, health, intelligence, performance and much more. Leaders of households, communities or organizations have extraordinary capacities to influence others by improving environments – the triggers that have people feeling, thinking and acting the way they do. While no one will eschew appropriate academic training and exercise for kids, providing them with the advantages of resilience, robustness and inner peace by strengthening their inner environment will go a long way toward providing them more agency over their human potential.
On the employee front, workplace wellness programs are on the rise. RF training and Better Being practices are part of creating a culture of health within an organization. A culture of health allows employees to thrive while reducing healthcare costs andcreating additional loyalty to the organization. Sending the right message and providing appropriate environmental triggers for employees to make healthier choices is key to a successful wellness program. Educating, inspiring and motivating employees to engage in healthier habits is the endeavor of The Better Being Project. Please visit betterbeingproject.org should you be in a position to further the health and contentment of fellow employees
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