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Meditate like Messi

Here’s the ultimate boon for every idle player: it turns out you can aid your own recovery with simple rumination.

Researchers from Ulleval University Hospital in Norway report that sportsmen who use meditation after tough training sessions reduce their production of lactate – the ache-inducing by-product of anaerobic exercise – and recover their fitness levels faster.

In recovery tests carried out on athletes split into groups, researchers noted that the blood lactate levels were significantly lower after exercise among the men who’d been taught to meditate when compared to other groups.

“In meditation, one looks to develop a balance of effortless relaxation and applied focus,” explains Andy Puddicombe, meditation expert with, who cites Lionel Messi as a good example of someone with balance in abundance.

“But it also helps to develop spatial awareness, mental endurance and pain management.”

Puddicombe, who lists a number of Premier League footballers among his clients, insists that just 10 minutes of simple meditation can provide the perfect after-game pain relief.

“Muscles grow and get stronger when we’re resting, not when we’re exercising,” he says. “So getting enough of the right kind of rest is essential.”

For meditation advice and benefits

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