Sports and Exercise as Physical and Psychologic Stress

Exercise is typical of the processes in which humans acquire the physical and physiologic ability to cope with physical stressors by repeated exposure to them. It is how people store physical ability and skill in conscious memory and transfer them into subconscious memory. For example, a person may initially practice a skill under the guidance of a coach. After the actions are repeated many times, an activity that was once difficult becomes a subconscious reflex through the wiring of the person's brain, which sends commands to his or her musculoskel-etal motor system.

Two types of stress have been discussed: physiologic or physical stress and psychologic stress. Stress can start in the body and move to the mind, in a bottom-up way, or it may originate in the mind as ideas, anxiety, and fears. This pure psychologic stress is a top-down type. In daily life these two patterns of stress are not always distinguishable, and this is also true in sports and exercise.

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Getting to Know Anxiety

Getting to Know Anxiety

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