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Why You Shouldn't Use Your Cell Phone in the Gym

From the Fit Community: Leave Your Phone at Home When You Work Out

FitSugar reader JessicaSmithTV wants you to know: you're hurting your workout when you bring your cell phone into the equation. She shared her three reasons you should stay cell phone-free at the gym in our 10 Pounds Down! community group.

1. It’s hurting your workout (and could cause you to get hurt)

If you can text or talk on the phone during any part of your workout, you aren’t working hard enough. Exercise requires a mind/body connection (yes, even the time you spend on the treadmill) and your cell phone seriously disrupts the communication signals between your mind and your body.

Even if you think you are the most talented texter, or multitasker to ever walk the earth, don’t kid yourself — many studies have shown cell phone distraction as even worse than being drunk – so if you wouldn’t run that mile, take that spin class or do Pilates totally wasted, then your phone shouldn’t be out during your workout. Not paying attention during exercise is dangerous and can cause you to hurt yourself — in a big way. Not to mention, it slows you down! Even if you stop to text in between exercises, you are slowing down your flow — and your heart rate. Not a good way to get results.

Read more reasons for keeping your cell phone at home after the break.

2. It’s super-rude to others around you

As a fitness instructor, if I see you texting, talking, or checking your emails on your phone during my class, I take it personally. It means I’m not doing my job well enough to keep you engaged and working hard enough that your cell phone is just a distant, faded memory. Every time I see someone using their phone in class I see it as a personal insult. And many of your fellow fitness friends around you do, too. If you stop or slow down during a class to text, you disrupt those around you and could cause an accident and put someone else at risk because you aren’t reacting to what the rest of the room is doing, which means you are now not only slowing down your workout, but those around you, too.

Walking around the gym floor texting or talking bothers the rest of the room, too. Many people walk around looking down, which makes them more likely to run into someone else or come dangerously close to you during an exercise or movement. And that loud convo you are having with your BFF about your horrible date last night? Do you really want the whole gym to hear those details?

3. It adds to your stress

Your workout should be a time for you to unplug and focus on yourself. Constantly checking your phone doesn’t allow you to get into your workout enough to relieve stress — it just adds to it! More and more studies are linking constant cell phone use with higher stress levels, and you are also sending the message to the world that you are constantly accessible — which shouldn’t be the case. The time you spend exercising should be dedicated to you! This is your time to build strength, stamina, destress, and improve your health. Make everyone else wait. Check your emails and texts and return calls after your sweat session. (And if you are so bored with your workout that you need your phone to help you pass the time, it’s time to get a new routine, STAT.)

Sure, maybe you use your iPhone to listen to your music on the treadmill — that’s fine. Just switch it to airplane mode so you aren’t tempted to start using it for other things. And yes, if you have an emergency situation you do need your cell phone at the gym. But if it’s an emergency, you should be taking your phone outside the gym to deal with the situation – not continuing on with your workout.

So what are your thoughts? Yea or nay on cell phone use at the gym?

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