2012-10-25 13:57:53 - A variety of factors influence athletic performance: Physical fitness and stamina, as well as the manner of nutrition, probably have the most impact. But a new study found another aspect, which had remained widely unconsidered: light. According to the study, the right lighting not only supports a higher capacity of concentration, but also positively influences stamina and performance in sports. Depending on the athlete’s body clock and the time of training, the personal performance can be optimised.
Increased performance with brighter light
Scientific studies at the Universities of Groningen (Netherlands) and Munich (Germany) prove that training with bright light results in an improved performance in comparison to training in darker surroundings. In the experiment, the test persons trained on a bicycle-ergometer two times each for 40 minutes. The first unit featured a very bright light irradiation of 4,420 lux, the second one a darker light of 230 lux. During the physical exercise in the experiment, the subject’s pulse, oxygen consumption and lactate value was monitored and analysed. The result: Every test person benefitted from training with bright light; their performance considerably improved. The difference was particularly significant with the early birds among the participants. The lighting came for
them during a good phase of their inner rhythms. They reported feeling more motivated and could improve their performance substantially.
Light influences personal mood
Besides improved athletic performance, other non-visual light-effects positively influence the human body. Light increases vitality, the ability to concentrate, and prevents signs of fatigue. Mainly responsible for the human body clock, light functions as a timer for phases of sleeping and awakening. Further medical studies show that light has an antidepressant and revitalising effect. This can also be seen in daily life: Light often has a positive effect on people’s mood. Moreover, it is of great importance as a motivating factor, whether at work or during sport.
Optimising and monitoring training
According to the international group of researchers, the new findings about the connection between body clock, lighting and performance have special meaning for athletes: By scheduling training at the right time of day, with the right lighting, they can optimise their performance. Furthermore, athletes can prepare their body clock for the time of competition by training in specific phases of light. Therefore, it is important to use the bright hours during the day to achieve the best possible performance. In order to monitor the personal performance, it is helpful to use running computers (e.g. JogStyle from Omron), which measure both current and average data for speed, distance and running time. Thanks to modern 3-D sensor technology and memory function, users can individually monitor and analyse positive performance moments at the right time.
Read further information and articles about running and health at www.myjogstyle.com.
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