Thinking About Exercise Can Make You Stronger

I came across a really interesting article a few weeks ago about a study that was that showed people who just think about exercise can get the same results as doing the exercise.

An experiment was conducted by researchers at Ohio University with 2 groups of healthy adults.  With one group, the researchers wrapped the wrists of the participants in a cast and gave them instruction to sit still for 11 minutes, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks.  They were to ‘perform mental imagery of strong muscle contraction’ – or, imagine exercising.  The other group was not given any instruction.

At the end of 4 weeks, the individuals in the group that had performed the mental exercises were twice as strong as the group that didn’t.  In addition, these participants also had a stronger brain because the exercises created stronger neuromuscular pathways. (I’d love to know how they do a brain strength test.)

Mind Over Matter

It is no surprise that this is possible. Visualizing is a technique that many successful people use to achieve goals.  Even in the athletic community, coaches often get their clients to do these types of techniques.

There is a Dutch man, Wim Hof, who holds world records for being able to tolerate cold.  He can plunge his almost naked body into arctic water for 15 minutes or more – something that would kill a normal person.  A year or so ago he ran a marathon in shorts and sandals in the arctic. The temperature was -25 degrees.  Wim has been obsessed about the cold his entire life and makes his living defying the cold.  Before any of his freezing stunts, Wim performs mental exercises he has learned over the years. He insists anybody can do this if they do the mental conditioning required.

Just think what we could achieve if we practiced these types of mental exercises everyday. It would definitely take discipline, there is no doubt about it. What if you could spend 10 or 15 minutes a day envisioning what you wanted to look, feel or be like and actually achieve your goal? I believe if you knew for sure you could be rich, healthy, skinny or whatever you wanted doing 15 minutes of mental exercises a day, you’d do it, right?

Well, I am off to do some mental exercises now. I’ll let you know how it works out.

To your Health!

Peter Gillham

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