You've probably heard about all the things you've done wrong during your workout at one time or another: You don't drink enough water, you eat the wrong things before you suit up, and you don't wear the right shoes. They're mistakes we've all made. But there's one thing that you might not even realize could be causing a big hunk of damage to your exercise mojo — using your cell phone while you're working out. Yes, unfortunately, texting and using social media during workouts may be sabotaging your workout more than you think.
Jazz Bianci, fitness instructor and founder of a burlesque and salsa workout in New York City, told am New York that the ever-growing fitness industry has forced gyms to include wifi in their amenities, which many clients take full advantage of. Even the personal trainers have been guilty of texting while in the middle of a one-on-one session. This constant mobile connectivity has changed the landscape of exercising in public. Some gyms even have a "no cell phone" policy, but it's incredibly difficult to enforce. Still, there are a lot of sound reasons why you shouldn't be staring at your phone throughout your 20 minute interval training sesh, no matter how tempting it might be to distract yourself in any way possible.
Here are four reasons why you should ditch your cell phone when you work out.
1. It Brings Your Heart Rate Down When You Want To Keep It Up
You may not think that one message takes very long to send out, and you're technically right. But think about how those 10 seconds add up when you send out 20 texts in a half hour session. Even the shortest of pauses like that can act like a rest for the body, which is good when you need it. If you rest too often, though, you won't reach the desired heart rate you're aiming for.
Raising your heart rate has great benefits for the body, none of which you want to miss out on. It brings oxygen to your muscles, prevents heart disease, improves cognitive function, and increases focus and attention. The more you text, the more you prevent your heart from cashing in on all these goodies.
2. It Cools Your Body Down Too Much
While your heart rate is plummeting, your muscles are also winding down in those small pockets of rest. That means your quads and hamstrings won't benefit fully from that leg-targeted workout you've worked so hard to put together for yourself. This constant cooling down during your workout won't give you any of the results you're looking for. You'll plateau out quickly, and you'll probably get bored really fast.
3. It Robs You Of The Focus You Need To Get Results
Hopefully you've kicked off your workout with a plan. Joe Masiello, co-founder of the Focus Personal Training Institute in New York City, told Women's Health magazine that "setting a goal for your workout is a huge motivator." However, setting an intention for your workout won't mean much if you're glued to your phone screen once you get started.
It's a complete distraction — which is part of it's appeal — but it steals your focus. You might even end up forgetting the whole reason you put on those cute sneakers in the first place. The more focused you are, the sweeter you'll feel after it's all said and done.
4. It Defeats The Whole Purpose Of Taking Time Out For Yourself
Exercising is about so much more than burning fat or losing weight. You also work out in order to carve out a small chunk of time in your day when you can completely forget about your agenda and to-do list. Our busy brain deserves that kind of respite. When we give that to ourselves, we put ourselves in a better mood and sleep better. You might think you're relaxing by checking out Facebook, but really, your body and mind could just use a few minutes to feel totally moving and human — away from a screen.
Staring at your phone on and off throughout your whole workout will hinder you from locking into that flow. So instead, select whatever music gets you going, and then turn your phone on airplane mode so you won't even be tempted to click on the Snapchat notifications. When you wipe away the sweat, you'll probably be much happier with the results.
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