There are big benefits to mentally connecting with your body’s movement. Muscle movements begin in the brain. If you visualize an exercise with specific muscle movement, as you do it, you can train your brain to send stronger signals. It's like a form of meditation, allowing you to focus on the muscle that you are using to become more in tune with your body. On the other side of the pendulum, exercise can strengthen your brain and benefit emotional and mental health too.
Mind over muscle. As you are working out, picture your muscles contracting as you move through an exercise. For example, if you are doing tricep extensions, imagine the tricep muscle contracting and lengthening as you lift the weight up and lower it behind you.
Muscle to regulate mind. Regular exercise, especially cardio, has a powerful way of strength-training the brain. It stimulates a protein which acts like fertilizer on the neurons in our brain. This powerful protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) helps your body grow new neurons in the brain to improve ability to learn new skills and information. BDNF also regenerates old and worn out neurons that contribute to loss of memory, mood disorders, and inability to focus.
Movement is medicine and can be the first step treatment for stress, fatigue or feeling unfocused.
“Don’t try to rush progress. Remember - a step forward, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.” Kara Goucher