December 27th, 2014| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


The top New Year’s resolution for 2015 is apparently this: Lose Weight. Others include: Volunteer to Help Others; Quit Smoking/Drinking; Manage Stress; Eliminate Debt; etc.

Most of these noble resolutions will be abandoned within the first two weeks of January.

But this Lose Weight resolution is looking more and more tempting. What with a recent article in the Journal of Neurophysiology: “The Power of the Mind: The Cortex as a Critical Determinant of Muscle Strength/Weakness,” from researchers at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Things are looking good for us who want to Lose Weight/Get Fit in 2015.

Two sets of study participants had a wrist in a cast to immobilize some arm/hand muscles for four weeks. One set of folks were instructed to do nothing but sit still and imagine exercising for 11 minutes, 5 days a week. No, they couldn’t play Scrabble on their iPads, or talk on their phones, or daydream. No, they had to intensely engage their minds and focus their mental energies on flexing the muscles of the casted arm. The other set of subjects could do whatever they wanted.

Believe it or not, at the end of the four weeks, those performing mental calisthenics were twice as strong as the other mindless folks.

And MRIs looked at the areas of the brain responsible for specific arm muscles. Those who imagined exercise not only had stronger arms, but also “stronger” brains: new and active neuromuscular pathways were created in those visualizing a workout!

Further proof that brain and body are intricately involved in each other’s functions.

Said Brian Clark, professor of physiology and neuroscience, and lead author of the study:

What our study suggests is that imagery 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. The most impactful finding, however, is not the direct clinical application but the support that this work provides for us to better understand the critical importance of the brain in regulating muscle strength. This information may fundamentally change how we think about muscle weakness in the elderly.”

That’s all well and good. But I’ve found a better use for this study. And a brand new resolution for 2015:

I’m gonna sit on my La-Z-Boy and gobble truffles and bonbons while imagining a frantic, furious, feverish, frenzied workout of all my muscles, hydrating myself with Diet Coke as I go along.”

So there! Enough of this hamster routine on treadmills and exercise bikes. No more!

(Oh, wait, they won’t let you read when you are imagining exercise? Hmm …. I might have to rethink this resolution—in two weeks.)

Mind over matter.

Maybe that’s why the Bible is keenly interested in what we think.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

How blessed is the man … [whose] delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:1–3

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2

Thinking the right things, following the model of our Savior.

Have this mind in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:5

Resolved, for 2015.

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