Ipek Williamson

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Is it possible to “think” yourself into being fit?

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Wouldn’t it be great lying down comfortably and visualizing yourself pumping weights or running, or doing jumping jacks without really moving your finger and getting fit? Well, it would be awesome… And a study conducted by Dr. Michael Mosley and his team proves that it isn’t as impossible as it sounds to mentally “think” yourself into being fit.

The research from the field of neuroscience suggests that just imagining yourself doing exercise could actually make your muscles stronger. The technique is called “mental or motor imagery,” This is because mental imagery helps the brain “rehearse the skill” and teaches it to activate more of the muscle. So while you don’t get bigger muscles, you use more of what you’ve already got.

Seven volunteers who helped researchers with their experiment were told to imagine themselves exercising the muscles they wanted to make stronger, and feeling their muscles contract at least 50 times, for 15 minutes five times a week, all while not actually moving a muscle. One month later, they went from using 50 percent of their muscle fibers to using 70 percent.
Apparently many elite athletes use this technique in addition to their daily exercise routines.

Another research made on 29 volunteers by Brian Clark and his colleagues at Ohio University also shows that sitting still, while just thinking about exercise, might make us stronger.

Both of these researches prove that our bodies and our brains evolve together. Even though we treat our mind and body as two separate entities, they are ultimately connected.  

Well, I don’t know about you, but I find it worthwhile trying this for sure… My upper arms definitely need toning… What do you say? Start today and compare notes a month from now?

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