Technology is constantly created to help us achieve better workouts such as Fitbits and Apple Watch. The problem is that if the battery of our device dies or we leave it at home, we use that as an excuse not to work out. It is important that we do not rely too much on these devices and still find the urge to work out without them to ensure we are healthy both physically and emotionally.
Wearing exercise trackers are a great way to have consistent results when you work out in that you can find out the amount of steps you have taken, reminders to keep working out, breathing exercises, and checking your BPM when you breathe. Being too dependent on this technology, however, can ruin your workout. You could have forgotten to charge your device the night before and you have no battery by the time it is time to see your trainer. This may cause you to cancel your appointment with your trainer because of charging your device at last minute, causing you to go all day or week without working out depending on when you see your trainer.
There are some devices that reward you depending on the amount of steps you have. If you depend too much on these numbers, it shows that you are not working for yourself but for the numbers. Depending too much on your device metrics may actually be misleading you. A Stanford study says that six out of seven wearable devices were good at measuring heart, but not the most accurate with energy expenditure or calories burned. Trackers also have a tendency to discourage you if you see at the end of the day that you only have a thousand steps when your goal is 10,000. This may discourage you from still trying to get those steps. It is important to stick to your goal no matter what your wearable device is telling you.
Social Media Notifications
Even though we are at the gym and focusing on our workouts, we also cannot help but bring our phones with us in case we get a social media notification. You could be completing a set, but then get interrupted when you receive a notification from your social media account or an email. You feel like you cannot put this off until the end of your workout, leaving you to lose valuable calorie burning time.
It can also be a problem to have your phone with you at the gym if you are constantly taking selfies or videos of yourself on Instagram for verification. If you do not get the respect from followers that you are seeking, you will feel too gloom to want to continue. Everyone works out differently at different speeds and intervals. Do not compare your progress to anyone else’s. One benefit of having a Fitbit is that you get notifications from your phone if someone is calling or texting you so you will not be left in the dark.
Having someone text you repeatedly when you are trying to exercise can provide a huge distraction, especially if the text is about something important. According to a Hiram College and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania study, calling and texting while working out can not only ruin your progress, but can ruin your balance. If you are in the middle of a jog, you will decrease your speed if someone is texting you so that you can read the message and avoid getting hit by a car when crossing the street. The American College of Sports Medicine says that being on your phone while working out will negatively impact your workout by 45%. You could be experiencing issues with your knees, legs, or hips if you are not focused. You can also risk hurting yourself if you are texting while on a treadmill or elliptical.
Technology at the Gym
You may feel very connected to your phone in that you do not want to miss out on what your friends say or if you get an important email from work. At the same time, your workout should be the priority you focus on for the time being. This means that you should not have your phone on you when you are going to the gym. You can put your phone in your locker and get back to it when you are done with your workout. It may help to tell your friends or family the days and times that you go to the gym so that no one is disturbing you.
The only benefit that can come of having your phone with you at the gym is listening to music. Music has a way of boosting your workout in that the speed and intensity of your music will affecting your own speed and intensity. Music can also be a good motivator to keep going as well. If you do not have an MP3 player and you need to use your phone as your only source of music, make sure to put your phone on airplane mode so that you do not receive any calls or texts for the duration of your workout. When your phone is on airplane mode, you should be able to listen to any downloaded music on your phone. Putting your technology on hold and focusing on your workout will help you exercise well and safely.
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