Is your game off?
I had blogged about the effects of OGA (Online Go Anxiety). Some of you had also reported suffering from RLGA (Real-Life Go Anxiety). As you've probably suspected, any anxiety makes you play worse.
Research presented by Mark Ashcroft, a psychologist at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, shows that Math Anxiety - feelings of dread and fear and avoiding math - can impair the brain's working capacity. Ergo, worrying about how you'll perform in a math test can undermine your performance.
Try to keep that in mind (or not) the next time you play a match.
I've known for a long time that exercise can lift one's mood and suspected that it can boost brainpower. Now a new study shows that it builds new brain cells in a region linked with memory and memory loss.
Yet another good reason to maintain balance in one's life; playing Go and staying fit.
Speaking of fitness
I changed my workout at the beginning of the year to add a regular squat routine.
No, not the leg-press machines but real "bar-on-your-back-with-the-potential-to-crush-you" squats. Squats with heavy weights that make you break into a sweat on the second repetition. Squats that make you feel your heart thump.
Michael Mejia and John Berardi, fitness trainers who write for Men's Health, strongly recommend squat routines as the best way to induce overall muscle development. As they describe it, a squat puts stress on the entire body, treating it as a whole organism. Machines by contrast, isolate specific muscles.
I stopped doing squats back in late high school after the gym acquired a leg-press machine. Sure, it was safer and I could do heavier weights; but in retrospect, the switch did less for promoting muscle development.