Muscle Memory

Muscle Memory is the act of completing a particular physical or mental task with such repetition that your body then learns to complete the task more efficiently, using less brain power.  You’ve all heard the statement “practice makes perfect”, well what it really should have said is “Perfect practice makes Perfect and Permanent.  Practice makes perfectThe key is to practice correctly.  The more you do something, you build up that memory and your brain can quickly instruct your muscles to carry it out. Muscle memory doesn’t judge whether you’re doing good or bad, however, and so if you practice bad eating and bad exercise habits over and over again you’re body is going to keep producing the same negative results. When you repeat mistakes again and again, you build a muscle memory with those mistakes and those mistakes become even harder to overcome later. This is one reason why the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is often true. But it’s not hopeless, if you want to make a change you most certainly can because we are creatures of habit.

The things that we do on a daily basis, the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we sleep (or not sleep), the things that make us happy or sad, are all results of hundreds and hundreds of repetitions of these activities.  When we try to build new habits we are forging new pathways in our brain and it takes a lot of work, but is so worth it because once we’ve made the new pathways the muscle memory kicks in and what was so seemingly difficult becomes easy and automatic.  You literally have to practice Healthy Living. Without actually regularly doing the activity (practicing), you will never feel like your new healthy activity is second nature.

Let’s see how we can start to create this new Pathway of Healthy Living.

1) Pick one or two new memories:  Instead of flopping down on the couch when you come in,  stop do 10 jumping jacks and then sit.  Upon getting off the couch stand and do 10 squats before heading off.  Before you get into bed do 10 push ups, and when you get up do 10 sit ups.

2) Minimize steps for the new activity:  Prep your healthy meals ahead of time so that they’re ready when you are.  Stash healthy snacks in your car or at work in your desk or purse for when you get the munchies.

3) Remove the need for willpower: If you are always tired after work and skipping your workouts, why not exercise in the morning, before the work day mentally wears you down.  If you struggle with unhealthy eating during times of stress,  remove all junk food from your house and replace them with healthy alternatives. It’s a lot tougher to eat poorly when you need to drive 10 minutes to go get it.

4) Be Present: Give whatever your doing, even if it’s only for a few minutes, your full and undivided attention.

5) Get Enough Sleep: It’s while you’re sleeping that the pathways form and become a long term memory.

Remember you are creating The Pathway of Healthy Living. Training your Spirit Soul and Body as a whole to build automatic healthy habits: the automatic “default” that you’ll fall back on when life gets a little crazy as it sometimes does.

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