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|Visualization - The Zen of Exercises
|Visualization - inner seeing - is a powerful tool for creating the life you want. Remarkably, visualization is also the secret ingredient in powerfully effective exercise.
Visualization enhances the mind-body connection. When you "see" your muscles working in your "mind's eye", the "wiring" between your brain and your muscles grows. More nerve-muscle connections are made, and your muscles get smarter and stronger. It's a remarkable process.
And it doesn't take any extra effort. Just think about it! :-)
Training smart means trusting your instincts, rather than listening to your ego. This is a tough one. At the time, it seems so important to do that last rep. Now, you can do that last rep if you maintain your form. Form is everything. If you have to sacrifice form in order to do those last few reps, you may get an unexpected, unwelcome result.
Likewise in running. When your form breaks down, that's a signal to slow down and recover your good mechanics. If your training is done with attention to proper, effective form, you'll be more likely, when the time comes, to run a good race at a good pace.
And, of course, we want to do these things to be healthy and well. The American College of Sports Medicine2 states, "Resistance training, particularly when incorporated into a comprehensive fitness program, reduces the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease and non-insulin-dependent diabetes, prevents osteoporosis, promotes weight loss and maintenance, improves dynamic stability and preserves functional capacity, and fosters psychological well-being."
As in much of life, there's a fine line between training hard and overtraining. Remember, the benefit of training is for the long term.
1Couture CJ, Karlson KA: Tibial Stress Injuries: Decisive Diagnosis and Treatment of "Shin Splints". Physician and Sportsmedicine 36(6):29-36, 2002
2Kraemer WJ, et al: Progression Models in Resistance Training for Healthy Adults. Med Sci Sports Exercise 34(2):364-380, 2002