Can Watching Sports Help You Become More Active?

New science suggests that the brain signaling response that occurs when watching activity such as sports or dance on television engages muscles used to participate in the activity. For those of us looking to learn something complex like Ballroom dancing or even the latest Zumba routines, this is amazing news.

Muscles depend on muscle memory, which is to say that the more times the brain tells the muscle to complete a specific action, the better the muscle will become at responding to those signals. Imagine spending your regular evening of watching activity like "Dancing With the Stars" knowing that every time you tense up imagining yourself doing that sexy swing, tango or salsa move, your body is actually preparing to learn to do it.

This should take much of the fear out of taking a new class, you will have prepared your mind and body to learn the skill. Watching activity can also stimulate your desire to actually get out there and do it. The more comfortable you become with the idea of picking up a new skill, and the more excitement you build up by watching with an engaged mind and body, the more likely you will be to overcome any barriers to exercise.

This mind-body connection has been suspected of working both ways, studies have suggested that  actively exercising people who are mentally engaged have more efficient muscle response. The mind is a powerful weapon in the battle of the bulge.  Put your mind in the game, and hopefully your body will soon follow. Keep on dreaming of gliding across the floor in the arms of an amazing dance partner, or making the amazing game winning shot.

Live a more active life both mentally and physically and achieve both better health and a more rewarding life complete with all of the benefits that only those who go beyond watching activity can experience.


Joan Raymond(2012 April 4).Watching  Dance Makes Your Muscles Think They're Grooving. Retrieved April 4 from

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