Brain Bulletin #4 - Think Yourself Fit!

in Brain Bulletin

Your brain is so powerful you can literally think yourself fit!

So says a study from Manchester University. Three groups were asked to take part in a fascinating study. One group was asked to do a muscular pushing activity for a month, a second group was asked to imagine, vividly, doing the exercises, a third group was asked to do nothing.

What do you think happened?

The first group increased strength by 33%, the second group 16%, the third group did not improve. So why did the second group improve? Neuroscientists believe that it is not what is happening in your muscle but in your brain! If you can improve the neural input to your muscle, you can recruit more muscle fiber and exert more force.

It seems that imagined exercise or movement initiates the same motor-programming in the brain as real exercise. This improves neural pathways between the brain and the muscle group involved.

The implications are staggering! You can improve your golf swing driving in the car, practice the piano while walking down the road, and become a better dancer while gardening. Can't fit your workout into  your busy day? Do it in your brain. Simply imagine in your brain doing any kind of movement and you will benefit! So what are you waiting for: start thinking!

In the next Brain Bulletin I will tell you about something that you do every week, out of habit, that literally makes you stupid while you are doing it. I will also tell you how you can make it better.