By Michelle Gottfried
What if just thinking about lifting weights, taking a bath or stretching could give you the same effects as going to the gym? Too good to be true?? Maybe! But some recent studies have concluded that mental imagery can actually make your muscles stronger. Not from the muscle actually growing larger but from the fact that more muscle fiber is recruited after imagining yourself exercising, making you stronger without actually doing the exercise!
Another study found raising your body temperature by one degree by taking a warm bath (and also as you do in exercise) can help lower blood sugar levels and burn calories as efficiently as a 30 minute walk! Dinner in the bathtub anyone?
Lastly, it was found that lightly stretching after meals assisted or on your own, could lower blood sugar levels by up to 23% (similar to regular exercise). Stretching seems to replicate the tension on the muscle, like exercise and allows the body to move sugar from the blood stream into the cells.
We definitely do not recommend doing these activities in lieu of your daily exercise, but what if we added these ideas to our daily routines? Could we burn more calories and balance blood sugar levels more effectively?? Could adding these habits to someone’s life that is unable to exercise or injured help improve their health? Might be something to try!