How strong do you think the link is between mind and body?
For example, is it possible to think yourself fitter without doing any additional exercise, but by simply better appreciating how much exercise you already do? A recent experiment by Alia Crum and Professor Ellen Langer of Harvard University suggests the incredible answer is yes.
Dr Ben Goldacre at Bad Science (although this is good science!) describes the study which was carried out on hotel attendants who were informed how much exercise they were already doing as a regular part of their job. Here's Ben's conclusion:
"...amazingly, despite no change in actual exercise levels, in the intervention group, simply being told about the value of what they were already doing caused a significant change for the better on every single one of the objective health measures recorded: weight, body fat, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and blood pressure."
To illustrate with just one of the outcomes they measured, the average weight of those in the intervention group reduced from 145.5 lbs to 143.72 lbs. Over the same period the control group showed no significant change. For those of you working metric-style that's 66.14 kg down to 65.33 kg.
That's like dropping a bag of sugar. In four weeks. With no additional exercise.
Now that's the power of the mind-body link right there, measured in pounds and ounces.
[Image credit: eef]
Making Habits, Breaking Habits
In his new book, Jeremy Dean--psychologist and author of PsyBlog--looks at how habits work, why they are so hard to change, and how to break bad old cycles and develop new healthy, creative, happy habits.
→ "Making Habits, Breaking Habits", is available now on Amazon.Reviews
The Bookseller, “Editor’s Pick,” 10/12/12 “Sensible and very readable…By far the most useful of this month’s New You offerings.”
Kirkus Reviews, 1/1/13 “Making changes does take longer than we may expect—no 30-day, 30-pounds-lighter quick fix—but by following the guidelines laid out by Dean, readers have a decent chance at establishing fulfilling, new patterns.”
Publishers Weekly, 12/10/12 “An accessible and informative guide for readers to take control of their lives.”