TOTAL HEALTH TRANSFORMATION SYSTEM
Visualizing Your Fitness
Work on your mental game with some visualization.
Visualization is a powerful form of mental skills training.
Mental skills are essential to,
- staying motivated
- staying focused on what’s important (and refocus as necessary, on core values, priorities, and goals)
- staying positive and optimistic — even when life is pushing us off track
Pro athletes are experts of this type of “mental rehearsal”.
Some research has shown that injured athletes who visualize returning to play, or doing specific rehab exercises, actually show changes in their nervous system and tissues that suggest the brain is responding to the visualization as if it were real.
Meaning, thoughts in the brain could be so powerful to start small physiological changes in the rest of the body. Amazing. And it makes sense.
See the future
The better you can imagine the outcome you want, the more likely you are to get it.
To brains, what we see, think, feel, and imagine sets off many of the same neurological patterns as what we do.
Practice visualization: The workout
Shut your eyes briefly and recall the last good workout you had. Create this image in vivid detail.
- Imagine the music that was playing.
- Imagine the sound of the weights clanking, or the sound of your feet hitting the road as you ran.
- Imagine the smell of the iron, or the outdoors, or the spray bottle of cleaning fluid for wiping off the benches (or that stinky gym guy who needs to wash his t-shirt).
- Imagine the way your body felt. Did the barbell’s knurling abrade your hands? Were you tired? Did your knee hurt? Did you feel energized? Did you feel the fabric of your fuzzy sweatshirt? How were you breathing?
- Imagine the taste of the water you drank, or the apple you ate afterward.
- Imagine how the scene unfolded. Did you need to share a set of dumbbells with someone? Did you rush to be on time for a fitness class?
Now your brain is firing on all cylinders. If you’re in it, deeply in visualization, then as far as your brain is concerned, you’re right back in that gym.
Sit with that image for a few minutes. Keep working on making it as real as possible. Notice whether you can re-create the sensations you experienced.
Congratulations — you just practiced directed visualization!
You can use visualization in many ways.
For instance, you can use visualization as a mental skills tool:
- to help you work towards a new identity;
- to help you solve problems and confront challenges along the way;
- to replace negative images with positive ones; and/or
- to create new outcomes for old, worn-out scripts.
Visualization is a powerful tool. If you’re practiced and competent in the skill, it can be constantly at your disposal towards helping you get closer to your goals.