Good news for those of us with an active imagination and an aversion to the gym — it turns out just thinking about exercise can make you stronger.
A new study has proven that, just like sex, just thinking about exercise can produce physical results.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, required two groups of healthy participants to sit still for 11 minutes a day, five days a week for four weeks.
One group was told to imagine themselves lifting weights, and the other group was not.
The researchers monitored the muscle and brain activity of both groups, and found that the group who thought about exercise were stronger, both mentally and physically, than the group who sat and thought about whatever they wanted!
By the end of the four-week study, the first group’s muscles had double the power of the second group, and they had strengthened the connection between their brain and their muscles.
“What our study suggests is that imaginary exercises could be a valuable tool to prevent or slow muscles from becoming weaker when a health problem limits or restricts a person’s mobility,” says Brian Clark, a professor of physiology and neuroscience at the college.
Clark believes that concentrating on specific images of exercise will help elderly people to prevent their muscles from deteriorating, and possibly even allow for slower aging.
In a blow to lazy people everywhere, Clark doesn’t believe thinking about exercise should be a replacement for exercise, because there’s nothing quite like the real thing.
What do you think? Will you make it a New Year’s Resolution to think about exercise more in 2015? Let us know in the comments below!