Lately I notice how much farther I can bend over when I close my eyes and do it slower. Really really slow. (I taped up a picture of some yoga instructor bent in half to spur me on.) When I tried doing this with dumbbells, the difference was amazing. Closing your eyes shuts out visual simulus, which helps you concentrate on that one muscle. In the words of physical therapists, “It is the quality, not the quantity, of the movement that counts.” Concentrating is especially true if you do anything balancing on one foot at a time, where a slight angle change in posture means not falling over. Music and TV make great distractions so you can “get it over with,” but improving the quality of movement means exercising will take less time; you don’t have to do as many reps. It’s hard enough to find the time in the first place, so at least we can make the time we do spend count for more.
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