Mental imagery and thoughts affect the nervous system, which stimulates muscle groups. Carrying out mental exercises can reduce muscle loss by as much as 50 per cent, researchers from Ohio University have found.
Twenty-nine volunteers wore a rigid cast-that immobilized the hand and wrist-for four weeks, and half of these regularly carried out mental imagery, where they imagined they were intensely contracting their wrist for five seconds and then resting for five seconds.
At the end of the four-week experiment, those who had carried out the mental imagery exercises had lost 50 per cent less muscle strength.
(Source: Journal of Neurophysiology 2014; 112 (12): 3219)