I love this. Anyone read the NY Times Magazine section this past weekend? On page 83, there is a snippet titled “Mindful Exercise” where they report on research done by Harvard Psychologist Ellen Langer and Alia Crum, a student, and 84 hotel maids. Apparently, they were able to lower the women’s blood pressure and reduce their weight (and waist to hip ratios) by telling them that what they did each day involved serious exercise. Women were told the specifics about how many calories each of their tasks were burning, e.g. 15 mins of vacuuming burns 50 calories.
The women lost weight and lowered their blood pressure (compared to a control group who were not told anything about the work they were doing) based solely on their new perception of what they were already doing. Langer stresses the importance of mindfulness and noticing new things about your life. Check out the article. 🙂