Do you bring your phone to the gym even if it’s not to listen to your play list? Try a little experiment next time and give yourself one hour to decompress: one hour out of the day that is spent on YOU! Take this time to concentrate on working your body efficiently and effectively without distraction. Give yourself permission to clear your head of “to do’s” that are constantly pulling at you.
If you take time to look at your phone, send texts or take calls, I guarantee your workout will be compromised. An effective workout combines concentration in movement and consistency in effort. Let me give you some examples:
A text from someone else might cause you to quit a set early or rush the movement you are working on.
Phone calls between sets may cause you to lose valuable calorie burn you strive to get out of a fast paced circuit routine.
An intended 30 second text or phone call may turn into a five minute chatting session between strengthening exercises, which may give your muscles too much recovery time.
Constant phone distraction has now turned your intended hour of exercise, to 50 minutes or less of compromised efforts.
Your cardio routine will slowdown if you are concentrating on something else.
The health benefit of clearing your mind and concentrating on yourself is minimized.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been guilty of this and that’s the only reason I am able to write about it! Our access to technology is an amazing thing! However my rule is now, both for my clients and myself, “If you are not expecting a call from a doctor or an important call from your child, the phone goes in the locker!” If you are expecting a call from that hot guy or girl you met last night, there is nothing wrong with them hearing a recording of your voice at their first attempt of communicating with you. You are a busy person and that makes for an interesting person!
Media distraction obviously goes way beyond the exercise routine. It has become an epidemic. This is not just a young person’s issue any more. People of all ages are becoming obsessed with social media, available at our fingertips. Below is a very important excerpt from my book, College Basic Training. We all need to heighten our awareness!
If you are over-the-top interactive, such a preoccupation can have some serious consequences. You may not even realize where you stand on the media-obsessed continuum. I strongly suggest you look at your habits closely and ask yourself these questions.
How much time in a day do I spend messing with unproductive social media?
Does it cause me anxiety?
Do I miss segments of conversation because my phone distracts me?
Is it causing me to be rude to my friends and family?
When I’m trying to study or focus, is it getting in the way of my concentration?
Is it feeding my procrastination?
Am I using it for the wrong reasons?
Is it affecting my sleep?
When I am driving, am I compelled to look at my phone or constantly change the song from my play list?
Let me know your experiences with media distraction or tools that have helped you combat this addiction!
For more compelling information on this topic and other health related subjects, see College Basic Training: strengthen your mind and body to leap any college hurdle.
My mission is to save lives, prevent tragedies and help our kids lead healthy and productive lives!
By Susan Jensen, Personal Fitness Trainer and Health Coach