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April 12, 2007

Use Your Mind to Change Your Body

Sure, we have the easiest starvation-free, hassle-free eating and exercise program ever. But your body won't stay strong and lean unless your mind tells it to.

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Sure, we have the easiest starvation-free, hassle-free eating and exercise program ever. But your body won't stay strong and lean unless your mind tells it to. Our three-part plan puts all the pieces together. "The key reason people succeed or fail with a new program is the mental part of it," says Bobby McGee, a sports psychologist and running coach to winning Olympians and author of Magical Running (bobbymcgee.com). It's a fact that your body reacts physiologically to your thoughts. So thinking big can make major changes happen.

On its own, your body is naturally conservative when you ask it to do something. If you lift a weight, your body recruits just enough muscle to do it safely, but not necessarily heroically. So when you want to outperform yourself, "you have to fool the body into recruiting more muscle," says McGee, which you can do with your mind. If you think you can't run a seven-minute mile, for instance, your body begins to switch off muscle, leaving you weak and fatigued. But if you think positively, your body will recruit more muscle to do it. Lab experiments have shown the same thing: "If you put athletes on a treadmill and show them videos of themselves running badly in a race, their VO2 max [the amount of oxygen their bodies can process] will go down," says McGee. "But as soon as they are shown tapes of themselves performing well, their VO2 max goes up."

Dedicate time to changing your mind, and the payoff will be overwhelming.

Click the next page to find out: How to Unleash the Power of Your Mind in 2007:


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