Is Your Phone Sabotaging Your Workout?

Is your phone sabotaging your workout?

I was recently reading about the best iPhone cases for the gym and it occurred to me that there’s a bigger issue here:

Does your phone help you in the gym or does it just distract you from your workout program?

Here are a few facts about the average American and his or her smartphone1:

  • On average, we look at our devices 46 times a day.
  • Adults between 18 and 24 years old look at their phones 74 times a day.
  • We use our smartphones when walking down the street, watching films, and even during religious services.
  • One in three adults admits to checking their phone in the middle of the night.
  • Twelve percent of people admit to using their phone while taking a shower.
  • And nine percent say they check their smartphone during sex. 

This makes me realize how distracted I get by my phone on a daily basis. I get messages from work, from my wife about picking up milk on the way home with the kids. And, I even get distracted by sports and Facebook updates.

All of these distractions happen all day, but also when I’m in the middle of a workout. So, I decided to do a little experiment and not use or even have access to my iPhone while working out one day.

At first, I felt some withdrawal. I started to feel jittery thinking I need to check my phone, but I’m not alone in this. A new brain scan study found that Internet addiction might cause some of the same brain changes that are seen in alcoholics and drug addicts.2

But I steeled myself to enforce the no smartphone rule and didn’t look at my phone once during my workout.  Bit by bit the revelation hit me that I am actually in the zone and focused on the workout. I found that my mind was clear and I enjoyed the process.

Realizing how good it felt to engage in my workout, I scanned the gym to see how many people were using their phones. I know people pretty well at my gym, so I decided to do a quick survey and find out what everyone was using their phones for during workouts.

I got the expected answers: using social media, texting, checking the news. I suggested to some of my gym friends to try putting their phones in their lockers and to see what happens.

Many who took my advice reported back to me the same result that I got, that the smartphone was a distraction and that they enjoyed their workout more without it.

So think about this question:

Is your smartphone actually helping your exercise program or distracting you from it?   

Share with your clients about a phone-free workout and find out what they think! 

  • Published on May 1, 2018
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