Vision helps us exercise

Tour de Cure start line, and right behind it is the finish line!

Turns out the free and easy strategy of keeping your eyes on the prize, or keeping your vision on your exercise goal DOES work! I am a big fan of making exercise easier. I do love exercising, AND I regularly struggle to make time and space to make sure exercise is happening on a consistent basis in my life. Can you relate??

I love TED talks and a while ago I found this one by Emily Balcetis, a social psychologist who studies people’s perception of the world, especially our visual perception. She studies vision like seeing and how that relates to vision like imagining.

I have always loved imagining. I was told when I was a kid that I had a very active imagination. I loved making up stories and creating plays and stories that I would convince the neighbor kids to join me in acting out. Perhaps my love of imagining has played a positive role in my now love of exercising and participating in organized athletic events like the Tour de Cure and 5K races!!

Turns out using your imagination can help you get moving. And, it does matter what you actually look at with your eyes. Thus, vision DOES come into play!! Emily describes a number of studies she and her team have done to discover a free way to help us perceive exercise as easier. I sure like that! In essence, the idea is to use our ability to focus. Or as she calls it, to keep our eyes on the prize!!

Interesting, when I’m out biking or running or doing a triathlon, I do this!!! I rarely like to chat and I do focus on the finish line. Go figure! And I almost always say at the end of a 100 mile bike ride that it was easy!!

Please, check it out and let me know what YOU think!

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6 thoughts on “Vision helps us exercise”

  1. First, I don’t call it exercise. Exercise is something you do because you have to for some reason, whether it be weight loss, blood sugar control, etc. It never ends and it takes a huge amount of willpower to keep it going. I prefer the term “training,” as in training for something very specific; a running race, a long bike tour, a weight lifting competition, etc. A written training plan is key. For me it was well worth it to pay a credentialed coach to write my running plans. Easy; just follow the plan. Once the event is over, you take some time to recover, following an off-season plan. Then it is time to find the next event and start training again, wih a goal of improving your competition performance. This is how professional athletes do it, and it can work for amateurs too. As a T1 diabetic, my primary reason for training is keeping my BG between 70-120 at all times, taking as little insulin as possible. If I place in my age group in a 10K, or complete a 400 mile bike tour in 6 days, that is just icing on the cake.

    • Cabe,
      So glad you found a word that works for you! That is one important key to motivational success. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story. Sounds like you use Emily’s strategy of keeping your eyes on the prize!!! Way to go!

  2. That’s an amazing video. So true. I know when I focused on my goal, doing bicep curls with 17.5 lb weights, I was able to do it! Before I know it, I will be lifting the 20’s! So I am going to focus on my goal to get stronger from now on. It’s working

    • Cathy,
      I’m SO glad you liked this video! I agree with you, it’s really a great reminder of how critical it is to focus on our goals!! I love hearing about your progress with weight lifting. Way to go!!!!

    • Ramsey!!!!
      I’m so so so glad you liked it! I found it super helpful too, which made me want to share it!
      Keep moving!

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