Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Strong thoughts

Studies have shown that just thinking about exercise can have physical benefits. We take a closer look

By Katie Barnes, Spa Business | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 6

For centuries it’s been believed that the brain was a static organ incapable of change. In recent decades, however, it’s been discovered that the brain is dynamic and has the ability to change, heal and renew itself.

Growing research in this field – known as neuroplasticity – has shown that thought itself can actually result in physical as well as mental changes: you use the same sensory programmes in the brain when you imagine an action as you do when you perform that activity.

In gym terms, this means that just thinking about a workout can have benefits. While it’s obviously not recommended that people stop exercising because of this, there’s an argument that more ‘thoughtful exercise’ has the potential to enhance results.

Power of imagination
A recent study by the University of South Carolina Upstate* has shown that, when people focus their mind on a muscle during strength training, they increase the output of that muscle significantly.

The test was carried out on 11 male footballers who performed three sets of bench presses at 50 per cent capacity while electromyographic (EMG) activity was measured in their pectorals, deltoids and triceps. The first set was performed without any instruction, but in the following sets participants were told to focus on the chest and tricep muscles respectively.

In the set where they were asked to focus on the chest muscle, activity in the pectorals rose by 22 per cent, while activity in other muscle groups was unchanged. Similarly, when instructed to think about the triceps, activity in those muscles rose by 26 per cent.

In a fourth bench press set which was performed at 80 per cent capacity, there was no significant change in muscle activity despite verbal instruction, suggesting that thoughtful exercise might not be as effective during high-intensity workouts.

Thought provoking
Meanwhile, an older piece of research from Harvard University** found that thinking about everyday activities as exercise can actually improve fitness.

The four-week study was based on 84 female housekeeping staff working in seven hotels. All of them worked a 32- to 40-hour week cleaning around 15 rooms a day at similar hotels.

The weight, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio and blood pressure was recorded in each participant, who also filled out a questionnaire on whether they thought their work duties were acts of exercise.

Subjects in four hotels (44 people) were told that their daily housekeeping work meant they were meeting the recommendations for an active lifestyle. They were given details about how many calories were used in different activities – 15 minutes of changing linen equated to 40 calories, while 15 minutes cleaning a bathroom used 60 calories, for example.

The remaining 40 participants working in the three other hotels were not given any such information.

After four weeks, subjects in the informed group perceived themselves to be getting more exercise than before. Compared to the control group, their physical health had also significantly improved: their average weight dropped by nearly 2lbs; average BMI decreased from 26.05 to 25.70; and average waist-to-hip ratio fell from 0.834 to 0.826.

The researchers concluded that: “These results support the hypothesis that exercise affects health in part or in whole via the placebo effect.”

http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2013_6research.gif
Studies in the scientific field of neuroplasticity show that just thinking about exercise can translate into actual, physical benefits
People
One of the opportunities we’re looking at is in London. The location doesn’t suit a low-cost gym, but would suit a boutique-style model. - John Oxley
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features

Strong thoughts

Studies have shown that just thinking about exercise can have physical benefits. We take a closer look

By Katie Barnes, Spa Business | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 6

For centuries it’s been believed that the brain was a static organ incapable of change. In recent decades, however, it’s been discovered that the brain is dynamic and has the ability to change, heal and renew itself.

Growing research in this field – known as neuroplasticity – has shown that thought itself can actually result in physical as well as mental changes: you use the same sensory programmes in the brain when you imagine an action as you do when you perform that activity.

In gym terms, this means that just thinking about a workout can have benefits. While it’s obviously not recommended that people stop exercising because of this, there’s an argument that more ‘thoughtful exercise’ has the potential to enhance results.

Power of imagination
A recent study by the University of South Carolina Upstate* has shown that, when people focus their mind on a muscle during strength training, they increase the output of that muscle significantly.

The test was carried out on 11 male footballers who performed three sets of bench presses at 50 per cent capacity while electromyographic (EMG) activity was measured in their pectorals, deltoids and triceps. The first set was performed without any instruction, but in the following sets participants were told to focus on the chest and tricep muscles respectively.

In the set where they were asked to focus on the chest muscle, activity in the pectorals rose by 22 per cent, while activity in other muscle groups was unchanged. Similarly, when instructed to think about the triceps, activity in those muscles rose by 26 per cent.

In a fourth bench press set which was performed at 80 per cent capacity, there was no significant change in muscle activity despite verbal instruction, suggesting that thoughtful exercise might not be as effective during high-intensity workouts.

Thought provoking
Meanwhile, an older piece of research from Harvard University** found that thinking about everyday activities as exercise can actually improve fitness.

The four-week study was based on 84 female housekeeping staff working in seven hotels. All of them worked a 32- to 40-hour week cleaning around 15 rooms a day at similar hotels.

The weight, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio and blood pressure was recorded in each participant, who also filled out a questionnaire on whether they thought their work duties were acts of exercise.

Subjects in four hotels (44 people) were told that their daily housekeeping work meant they were meeting the recommendations for an active lifestyle. They were given details about how many calories were used in different activities – 15 minutes of changing linen equated to 40 calories, while 15 minutes cleaning a bathroom used 60 calories, for example.

The remaining 40 participants working in the three other hotels were not given any such information.

After four weeks, subjects in the informed group perceived themselves to be getting more exercise than before. Compared to the control group, their physical health had also significantly improved: their average weight dropped by nearly 2lbs; average BMI decreased from 26.05 to 25.70; and average waist-to-hip ratio fell from 0.834 to 0.826.

The researchers concluded that: “These results support the hypothesis that exercise affects health in part or in whole via the placebo effect.”

http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2013_6research.gif
Studies in the scientific field of neuroplasticity show that just thinking about exercise can translate into actual, physical benefits
Latest News
Mid-market health club operator Total Fitness has acquired Pro-Fit Personal Training. The deal follows a ...
Latest News
PureGym is set to become the second largest fitness operator in Europe, after revealing plans ...
Latest News
The Glass House Retreat, a new eco-friendly health and wellness retreat, has opened in Bulphan, ...
Latest News
A large-scale study on genetics has shown that being more physically active reduces the risk ...
Latest News
The Gym Group has confirmed plans to roll out a new small box format in ...
Latest News
Representatives from the three main political parties have backed the view that physical activity has ...
Latest News
Life Leisure is expanding its facility portfolio with the launch of an independent boutique fitness ...
Latest News
Almost half of children and young people (46.8 per cent) in England are doing the ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Pulse Fitness modernises Leiston Leisure Centre in £4m redevelopment
The Leiston Leisure Centre, owned by East Suffolk Council, reopened recently following a £4m redevelopment designed and implemented by Pulse Fitness.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Who does your brand belong to?
Who does your brand belong to? There used to be only one answer to this question: the company that grew it and invested in it.
Company profiles
Company profile: DFC
DFC
At DFC, we offer totally transparent revenue management solutions with clear pricing and no hidden ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Pavigym
PAVIGYM is the premier innovator of flooring and interactive solutions for the global fitness industry....
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Exercise equipment
Eleiko Sport AB: Exercise equipment
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Management software
GymSales: Management software
Fitness equipment
Healthcheck Services Ltd: Fitness equipment
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-23 Jan 2020
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab