Muscles Remember What the Mind Can Forget
For anyone who wishes to start a fitness program, here’s something not to forget: Your muscles have memory.
Perhaps you knew that – or maybe you forgot – but movements from earlier stages in your life are filed away in your fascia and muscle memory.
Let that be a comfort as you begin a fitness program. Maybe you haven’t exercised for many years but you were an athlete in high school. As you rev up your exercise program, the muscles and the synapses that trigger them will spring back to life: Aha! A brisk walk! Leg activation. Arm-swinging. Balance. Posture. I remember that!
You might not run the five-minute mile and please, don’t try. Start slowly. Muscle memory is powerful, but give it the help it needs and build your strength little by little.
The rewards of rebooting the dark corners of muscle memory are many.
Studies show more than half of the US population takes at least one prescription drug. Meanwhile, researchers agree that for many conditions, exercise is the No. 1 treatment. Not long ago, employees at a health clinic in Vista proved my point – they were handing out prescriptions to walk!
Whether it’s walking, gardening, or training to run a five-minute mile, the key to any successful exercise program is to enjoy it.
Maybe you’ve never worked out. Maybe you think you’re over the hill. I don’t buy it, and neither does your muscle memory.
I have the privilege of working with adults who are 65 and older. In that capacity, I have inspired many seniors to rediscover their muscle memory and to open pathways to activities they used to enjoy. Through guided-imagery, brain exercises, grounding techniques and concentration, seniors can activate muscles they hardly ever use.
The end result is a heightened sense of confidence, strength, balance and awareness. All this carries from the exercise studio right into daily life.
That’s something your muscles, your mind and your spirit won’t forget.
Ann Heizer is a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. To learn more about Ann’s fitness programs, visit www.annheizer.com or call (760) 612-5557.