Greek Sports Physician Says Mozart Is Better for Athletes Than Steroids
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
The Independent [London] - 14 April 2004
Never mind the nandrolone. A strong dose of Mozart is more likely to enhance athletic performance.
This is the revolutionary theory of a Greek cardiologist who, when not attending to affairs of the heart, busies himself as a composer. He recommends music as the best stimulant for sporting success and claims that a series of studies have shown that, used in combination with the right diet, "it can act as an energy supplement in the attempt to reduce the use of pharmaceutical substances by young people involved in sport".
According to Thanassis Dritsas, an adviser to the Greek Olympic team, music is a natural tonic which can banish fatigue and stress, increase muscle power and boost performance on the day. In his book Music and Medicine, he praises the use of personal CD players for training purposes and says music "might develop into a technique which, unlike doping, does not run counter to Olympic ideals". But he stresses that it has to be the right kind of music.
Classical rather than trance; symphonies, not rock. His studies have been conducted in conjunction with a Greek colleague at London's Brunel University, Professor Costas Karagiorgis. These show that music can relax athletes before an event and "create a positive training environment that increases their kinetic skills".
Says Dritsas: "Before every workout there should be 10 to 15 minutes of classical music at a slow, easy pace, so that exercise begins at a low pulse rate to aid the blood flow to the muscles."
Live music is actually banned during Olympic competition ó except for rhythmic gymnastics and synchronised swimming ó but, if the Greek philosophy is right, the message is to stop swallowing the steroids and switch on the Strauss. Music to the ears.
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