I hate working out more than just about anything. I go to the gym three or four times a week, but I’ll use anything I can to distract me — watch a movie, read a magazine, or chat with a friend. Without my distractions, I’d probably never exercise at all.
Depending on your reasons for exercising and the distractions of your choice, casual athletes tend to rely more on viewing, talking, texting, or reading to complete an exercise routine when compared to serious ones. And if they’re not careful, they can undermine their exertion by being distracted inefficiently — hunched over a book while pedaling on an elliptical machine, for example, or becoming too involved in a phone conversation.
According to many trainers, just about anything that gets you into the gym and lengthens your workout can be beneficial. And most people do find that listening to upbeat music helps to motivate them. However, when it comes to other distractions, such as watching a movie, listening to a podcast or talking to a friend, there are a few do’s and don’ts that you should know about.
It’s been shown that listening to music while exercising helps your body to release the endorphins that relieve stress and depression. Not many studies exist on other distractions, but if they create a similar pleasurable feeling, you are likely to receive the same benefit.
Watching a television show can be very effective — for example, if you use commercial breaks to do high intensity interval training.
While distractions can be very helpful, you need to be careful with them because some can slow your pace by focusing your mind on more than one thing. Watching or reading a complicated drama can have that effect. To minimize the negative impact of some distractions, trainers advise that you watch light comedies instead of complicated mysteries or potentially depressing news programs.
According to doctors and trainers, the most common distractions, such as listening to music or talking to a friend, can be helpful at any level… from beginners to advanced athletes. When exercising, we tend to perform better when the aversive nature of our exercise routine is lessened.
Another thing that you need to be aware of is that visual distractions can affect your posture. Good trainers recommend adjusting screens or reading material directly at eye level. Looking down while working out is not good.
You should also work towards using fewer distractions as you become more serious about your workouts and begin to intensify them — for example, skipping the e-mail messages in place of an inspiring playlist.
In spite of our good intentions, though, we sometimes tend to throw advice out the window and figure out what works for us. Marjorie Kramer, an American technology strategist in Toronto, said that the only way she could drag herself out of bed and onto aat 5 a.m. every day to prepare for a marathon a few years ago was knowing the next episode of “24” awaited her on her DVD player. “I would quicken my pace when the show got exciting,” Ms. Kramer said. “Kiefer Sutherland was like my running partner.”
To help motivate more people to hit the gym, health clubs have become extremely creative in their marketing efforts. Some clubs go beyond the usual string of wall-mounted televisions, and they bring in D.J.s. Other big national chains, such as Gold’s Gym, have installed “Cardio Cinemas” in their clubs around the country where members can watch movies on big screens in darkened rooms while using stair climbers, ellipticals or other equipment.
“Cardio Cinemas are one of the most popular amenities we have,” said Dave Reiseman, a spokesman for Gold’s Gym. “It’s fun to see someone’s face the first time they walk into one.”
Then, there are a select few like Caroline Libresco, who works in Los Angeles as a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. In the months leading up to this year’s festival, she watched several hundred films while riding a stationary bike in her home screening room.
“I have to watch them so closely, I barely realize I’m biking,” she said.
It’s totally natural to want to be distracted while exercising. If that’s what motivates you to get on that , then go for it. like ‘ have a built-in TV that can even be connected to a DVD player or your cable/satellite hookup, so you can watch your favorite shows. Don’t let exercise time get in the way of your Prime Time!
I like to watch series DVDs, such as Bones, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. The car chases and shootouts get me pumped! What are your favorite shows to watch when running on your? Let me know below…