The is an article in the New Your Times that features on the science of fitness that says there is a link between the mind and body when it comes to physical exercises. If you keep telling yourself during the exercises that you are not tired, chances are high that you will do much more than when you tell yourself that you are tired, a new study shows. This clearly shows that the body-mind relationship does indeed exist in ways we may not understand.
Physical fatigue is an enigmatic condition that scientists are yet to fully understand how it works. Although many of us often think that we often run out of fuel before being exhausted, scientists have discovered, in an experiment with rodents, that even if pushed to run until they drop, the rodents retain reserves of fuel in their muscles, although their bodies might indicate otherwise. Thus, the rodents remain capable of doing more activities physiologically
The experiments thus demonstrate that when it comes to physical exercises, it is the brain that initiates fatigue rather than the muscles. This conclution is reached after analyzing the inputs from the body. This means that the body is capable of carrying out more exercises if the brain communicates to the body that it is still possible to continue with the exercise. Theoretically, verbally telling yourself that you aren’t tired during the exercise allows you to work harder and go further with your exercises that it would others be possible.
According to the study conducted by researchers from the University of Kent in Canterbury, a group of 24 healthy and physically active young people was asked if they would be willing to ride a bicycle to the point of limp exhaustion. The purpose of this experiment was to find out whether verbally encouraging the participants to go further with their cycling could make a difference in terms of reducing fatigue.
To test the idea, the scientists asked the volunteers to pedal a stationary bicycle repeatedly until they felt they could not pedal any more. During the experiment, the volunteers’ heart rate, pace and peddling power was measured. Their facial muscular contractions were also monitored. After the first session, the volunteers were divided into two groups. One group was asked to continue with the pedaling for two weeks accompanied with positive ‘self-talk’ that encouraged them into doing more pedaling such as ‘I am doing good’. The other group continued pedaling the same way they had done in the beginning.
After the experiment, it was found that the self-talk group felt good during the exercises and did more than their counterparts did even though their heart rates and facial expressions remained the same. The experiment then shows that motivational self-talk improves performance during workout compared to not using it. So the next time you are in the gym trying to see how to get rid of love handles and want to increase endurance and performance, telling yourself that “This workout feels good” Will result in better performance and more endurance.