Did you know that something as simple as your body language will help you achieve more success in your fitness/weight loss goals?
Recent studies by Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, have shown that our body language is directly linked to our hormone levels, and our behavior. Her latest research shows how “faking” body postures that convey competence and power (“power posing”) – even for as little as two minutes — changes our testosterone and cortisol levels.
It has been shown that our natural reaction to winning is to strike a power pose. Think of the runner crossing the finish line. The athlete takes on the stance of arms raised in a V position, head lifted, shoulders back. Even blind people do it when they are victorious in events. We do not have to be taught to do it!
High power poses are poses in which the body is opened up, expansive. My Wonder Woman pose is one example of a power pose.
Lower power poses are poses where the body is closed off. Arms folded across the chest, head down, trying to take up as small a space as possible. People do this when they feel feeble or afraid. “They wrap themselves up.” Cuddy says.
How can a power pose help you with your fitness/weight loss goals?
Cuddy determined in her study that after just a 2-minute “high power pose,” the risk tolerance of the high-power posers soared. The risk tolerance of the low-power posers, meanwhile, shrank.
This was the result of changes in body chemistry. Testosterone is the “dominance” hormone. After ‘power posing for just 2 minutes, the testosterone levels of the “high power” posers rose 20%. Testosterone levels for the “low power” group, dropped 10%. Testosterone is one key chemical for “power.” Testosterone is critical to muscle growth!
Increased risk tolerance translates to fitness “as moving out of your comfort zone“. Gains in fitness increase as you push your body past what is comfortable. Lifting heavier than usual, training longer or trying something new to challenge your body are all examples of benefits to power posing.
Stress, Cortisol and Belly Fat
The study also showed changes in the participants cortisol levels. When cortisol levels drop, people are better able to handle stressful situations. Stress causes cortisol levels in the body to rise, which leads to increased belly fat.
After the 2-minute poses, the cortisol levels of the “high power” diminished. The cortisol levels of the “low-power” group, became elevated.
Power Posing two minutes daily
1. increases testosterone
2. increases risk tolerance
3. decreases cortisol (lower belly fat)
How can I start?
Cuddy says, “Small tweaks= big changes”.
Power pose each day for 2 minutes. If you are not in the mood to train, stand up and assume the power pose for 2 minutes.
You do not have to do it in the gym, the locker room works!
Don’t fake it until you make it, fake it until you become it!