Neuroscience has made some serious breakthroughs in the past decade. We now know enough about the brain and how it affects the body to where we can now use it to our advantage. Unfortunately, this information will take some time for the fitness world to accept, and adapt into the mainstream. Lucky for you there are a few of us out there that understand this information and can use it to accelerate your results like never before.
In this series of articles, I will cover the three main neurological systems that we can affect from a training standpoint, and why they are the most important systems affecting our brain’s decision making process. Regardless of your goal, wether it is to lose body fat, gain muscle, or get out of pain, you must understand that your brain relies on the QUALITY of the information coming from these systems to produce the best possible outcome. If the quality of the information coming into your brain is bad, your brain will put the brakes on your nervous system, which can manifest into a wide range of issues such as pain, fatigue, inability to activate muscles, irritability, vertigo, poor hand/eye coordination and the dreaded “I hit a plateau”.
If you have any of these issues, like the common ” I cant get my butt to grow” or “working out is just to hard for me ” then it’s pretty much a guarantee that you have an underlying issue that needs to be fixed before you can make the progress you are looking for.
The first of the three systems that feed information into your brain is the most powerful system of neurological input we have as humans, which is our visual system. Your brain completely relies on how your eyes communicate with your brain to make quick decisions, such as where to move your foot on your next step, or differentiating “is that a dog or a lion running at me?” When your visual system is not functioning at an optimal level it can cause a lot of confusion in your brain. So when most people start to have trouble with their visual system, they get their eyes checked and get glasses or contacts. But what people don’t yet understand (at least on a larger scale) is that your eyes have muscles that need to be moved and stretched daily. Glasses are basically cages for your eyes because you only move your eyes within the scope of the frames. So the question we should be asking before we get a prescription to wear over our eyes is, why do we need to get glasses in the first place?
Reading books, looking at our phones, or doing anything else that causes us to continually focus on one thing close up makes our eyes adjust, and eventually leads to being near or far sighted. The negative thing here is that as we continue to practice life with our bad vision, the better we will become at seeing poorly. This is the phenomenon of neuroplasticity. We will always get better at what we are doing or thinking all the time, no matter if what we are doing to ourselves is positive or negative.
The good news here is that there is still a chance you can correct your own eyes without having to get Lasik surgery, or even pay up for glasses and contacts. Even after getting Lasik surgery done, people often have to go back and get their vision repaired a few years down the road. I know because I noticed a few years after my own Lasik surgery was done, my vision started to fade again. But luckily for me, I had found a system that focuses not only on restoring vision, but improving it to a state that was better than I had ever experienced through just performing simple visual exercises.
With eye exercises you can not only restore your vision back to 20/20, but you can correct your posture and even reduce anxiety. If you are one of the millions of people on this planet that has anxiety and know your vision is terrible, getting it fixed or fixing it yourself could greatly change your life in many ways you wouldn’t have even imagined. You will likely experience a spike in energy because your brain wont have to try as hard to figure out what’s going on around you. If you have more energy from improving your vision, then maybe you will have more energy and motivation to exercise regularly. Starting to get the picture?
Now that you understand that poor vision and visual movement skills can confuse your brain, drain your energy, increase anxiety and otherwise make life just that much more difficult, lets take this a step further and look at the link between vision and hormones.
You have probably heard by now that cortisol is the stress hormone and it can have a long list of side effects if your levels of this hormone are to high for a prolonged period of time. There are good types of stress too, like exercising for under 45 minutes, that can reduce your cortisol levels, and of course there are the bad types of stress that don’t provide an outlet for cortisol to be lowered, such as not getting enough sleep regularly. Having poor vision and visual movement skills are playing a huge part on your cortisol levels which could be why you cannot seem to lose those last 15 pounds of fat. So if your a person who has terrible stress from work, poor vision, lack of exercise, poor diet, relationship stress, old injuries, and so on, then you have a lot of the bad stress that is keeping you from feeling great and kicking ass everyday like you want to.
On my next blog I will talk about the system that most contributes to your balance, called the vestibular system. this system is the 2nd most powerful system that feeds information into your brain.
Now let give you some homework to try for a few weeks and let me know if you start to see changes on how you feel, or maybe your vision will start to even improve!
1) Eye circles – While standing or siting with a straight back, keep your head still while following your finger in nice big circles. Start very slow and complete 3 circles in each direction. Arm fully extended.
2) Pencil Push up – While standing or sitting with a straight back hold a pencil out in front for your nose at a full arms length. Then bring the pencil close to your nose while following it with your eyes. Then follow the pencil back out to arms length. Repeat back and fourth for 10 repetitions.
If you can do this daily 3-5 times per day you will start to notice some changes. Let me know what happens by emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
-Terry Reddinger, Neural Performance Coach at True Motion Human Performance