Having an optimistic attitude can be essential for an athlete in competition and training. An athlete with optimism will train hard and push through the rough spots, and refuse to give up despite obstacles and losses. New research in the Medical Science Monitor, examined the role of optimism on corresponding positive health behaviors in athletes.

 

One hundred forty seven females and 385 males, who were currently in a training season for athletic competition were examined for this study. A control group was also assessed consisting of 262 females and 435 male non-athletes.
Researchers examined the athletes’ nutrition habits, preventive health behaviors, positive attitude, and health practices on two different questionnaires;  the "OP" Attitude Questionnaire and the Juczynski Health Behavior Inventory. 
 
Research Results:
  • Both female and male athletes display a higher degree of optimism.
  • Optimism correlates with healthy practices, including healthy sleep cycles and recreation, and physical activity, **but this was only noted in the females.
  • Greater pessimism correlates with a less positive mental attitude in female athletes and non-athletes, and in male non-athletes.
 
Overall, researchers found that athletes displayed greater levels of optimism, which appeared to influence their positive health behaviors.