Exercise by imagination; sufferers of disabilities and generally anyone who is unable for whatever reason to engage in physical activities, is now possible.
Recent research has confirmed that just by imagining you are exercising, increases strength in the muscles you are thinking of.
How you can get fit just by THINKING about exercise! Scientists say imagining yourself working out could actually make your muscles stronger.
Mind over matter, the brain alone can tone muscle.
How to Grow Stronger Without Lifting Weights.
Exercise By Imagination
At 86 years young, I find that many physical activities I carried out in my younger years, are no longer possible. Muscles used in those previous activities have lost interest in doing anything.
New research has revealed that exercise for elderly people may now be much easier. Not only for the elderly, but for anyone.
It has been confirmed that just imagining exercise can slow muscles from becoming weaker with age or restricted mobility.
In some research, it has been revealed that just imagining lifting weights increased the participants’ strength by 13.5%, compared to an increase of 30% for those who did the actual weight training. Not bad. Increasing strength by just imagining doing the weight lifting. This I like.
New Scientist recorded that researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found research participants increased the strength in their little finger by 13.4% and other participants increased the strength of their biceps by 13.5%. All achieved by imagining exercising the relevant muscles.
Scientific American reported on an experiment carried out at Ohio University. Two group of volunteers had their wrists encased in surgical casts for one month. One group did no exercises, neither mentally nor physically, whilst the other group imagined exercising their immobilized wrist, 11 minutes a day, 5 days a week for a month. When the casts were removed, the groups were tested and it was found that the group who imagined exercising their wrists, had wrists twice as strong as the group who did no exercise.
How to Imagine Exercising
There are two ways we can imagine ourselves performing a task.
- Seeing ourselves as a third party. Similar to seeing a video of us.
- Seeing through our eyes. (This way, for example, we would not be able to see the back of our head.)
Research has shown that the second way produces better results.
When imagining your exercises, endeavor to use all your senses. Feel the muscles you are imagining, tensing; feel the ground or floor under you; feel the weights or resistance.
Become emotionally involved.
How to Visualize
If you are not familiar with visualization, you might like to check out my post on this subject.
Although mental relaxation has not been mentioned in any of the articles regarding mental imagery exercise that I have accessed, I believe it is an important part of your preparation for the exercises. Not essential, but I certainly include it in my mental exercise routine.
If you elect not to include a mental relaxation technique in your preparation, I strongly recommend you relax as much as you can, both physically and mentally.
I would guess there are many physical exercises that you have carried out over the years, or if not, you have seen others conducting exercises. Push ups, knee bends, running on the spot, lifting weights, and the list goes on. Nowadays gyms have special equipment installed for members to use.
If you have no exercises you can visualize, you may be able to attend a gym and view some of the activity there. If you see something you like, take it in visually, and use it later as an imagined exercise.
You may find it easier to attend a sports store, view their displays, pick up some dumbbells, or other pieces of exercise equipment and make yourself familiar with them.
Another way, is viewing exercise videos online. There are many videos on YouTube that will give you ideas for your visual exercises.
If you see an exercise you like, take it in, view it as many times as you like, then use it as one of your imaginary exercises.
Your brain cannot pick the difference between a real and a vividly imagined incident.
Do you have any favorite exercises you would like to share. Please let us know below.
I am sure we would all love to hear of the positive results you experience. Let us hear from you.