The Beneficial Effects of Motivational Self-Talk on Endurance Performance and Cognitive Function in the Heat
Wallacep, Phillip Julian
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The role of psychological strategies on endurance performance and cognitive function in the heat is unclear. This thesis tested the effects of a two-week motivational self-talk (MST) intervention - specific to heat stress - on endurance capacity and cognitive function in the heat (35°C 50% RH). The study utilized a pre-test / post-test design testing endurance capacity using a time to exhaustion test (TTE) after exercise-induced hyperthermia. Cognitive function (e.g executive function) was tested at baseline in thermoneutral (22°C 30% RH), before (R1) and after the TTE (R2). MST led to a significant improvement (~30%) in TTE and significantly faster completion time with fewer errors made on executive function tasks at baseline and R2, but not in R1, while there were no differences in the control group. Overall, these results indicate that using a top-down regulation strategy consisting of self-contextualized MST can improve physical and cognitive performance in the heat.