(UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL) — ATHENS, Ohio — New research suggests muscles respond to simple thoughts of exercise; simply imagining exercise can trick the muscles into delaying atrophy and even getting stronger. It’s further proof that brain and body, which evolved together, are more intwined than separate.
To demonstrate the power of the brain, researchers at Ohio University wrapped a single wrist of two sets of study participants in a cast — immobilizing their muscles for four weeks. One set was instructed to sit still and intensely imagine exercising for 11 minutes, five days a week. More than just casually daydream about going to the gym, participants were instructed to devote all of their mental energy towards imagining flexing their arm muscles.
The other set of study participants weren’t given any specific instructions. At the end of the four weeks, the mental-exercisers were two times stronger than the others.
Advertisement - story continues below