In a fascinating experiment, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation discovered that a muscle can be strengthened just by thinking about exercising it.
“For 12 weeks (five minutes a day, five days per week) a team of 30 healthy young adults imagined either using the muscle of their little finger or of their elbow flexor. Dr. Vinoth Ranganathan and his team asked the participants to think as strongly as they could about moving the muscle being tested, to make the imaginary movement as real as they could.”
Compared to a control group – that did no imaginary exercises and showed no strength gains – the little-finger group increased their pinky muscle strength by 35%. The other group increased elbow strength by 13.4%.
What’s more, brain scans taken after the study showed greater and more focused activity in the prefrontal cortex than before.”
The researchers said strength gains were due to improvements in the brain’s ability to signal muscle.
Neurobics™ is a unique system of brain exercises using your five physical senses and your emotional sense in unexpected ways that encourage you to shake up your everyday routines. They are designed to help your brain manufacture its own nutrients that strengthen, preserve, and grow brain cells.
Include one or more of your senses in an everyday task:
- Get dressed with your eyes closed
- Wash your hair with your eyes closed
- Share a meal and use only visual cues to communicate. No talking.
Combine two senses:
- Listen to music and smell flowers
- Listen to the rain and tap your fingers
- Watch clouds and play with modeling clay at the same time
- Take a new route to a familiar place
- Eat with your opposite hand
- Shop at new grocery store