Studies show that using technology and gadgets when working out causes more harm than good. Campaigns towards an unplugged workout are growing in prominence, with the aim of getting individuals to let go of their obsession with technology, devices, and data they use with their activities.
Individuals today can’t go on a run or head to the gym without their workout gadgets. Without their music synchronized, without their apps counting their steps, without a virtual community cheering them on. While this is a great boost in terms of making exercise a more appealing activity, experts say otherwise.
When is Too Much Too Much?
Research psychologists ask the important question in this digital age: Have we all gotten a bit too dependent on technology? Technology today is astounding. It can help you track your activity and can even give you credit for standing up from your chair and moving.
Workouts today don’t just mean going on a run or heading to the gym. It means devising a weekly pace plan coupled with playlists, and analyzing all the digital records of your activity, achievement, and goals. Data and music have become a crutch. Are these really necessary for your workout to count?
More Bad than Good
These techs can be valuable, experts say. They give individuals the boost they need and make exercising an activity they can look forward to. But if these gadgets and devices blur your focus because you’re constantly checking your stats, progress, and comments, you’re creating anxiety, and not progress.
Exercise is supposed to produce endorphins and dopamine, chemicals that make you feel good, not anxiety neurotransmitters like cortisol. Instead of doing something that is good for you, your gadget-clad workout session is stressing you out even more, cancelling out all the possible good effects.
Experts suggest that even more damaging is the social media component of the workout technology and apps used. For example, some apps post your progress on social media sites, making your personal workout public.
It puts you in the spotlight, waiting and relying on your friends to cheer for you virtually. Every comment and like counts, that in the end, it’s as if your progress stops mattering if nobody comments on it online. If nobody likes it, does it mean it doesn’t count?
Brian Beary, a journalist in Washington, went unplugged during his workouts four years ago and since then, reached his own personal goals in his own ways. He was quoted saying, “just because I don’t record my workouts for posterity doesn’t mean they don’t count. In fact, they matter even more.”