In 1996 the Macarena held the number 1 spot on the billboard top 100, while The Smashing Pumpkins' 1979 sat sullenly at number 44. As backwards as that seems, there were plenty of things that made sense about the late 90's. If I needed to talk to my best friend I would call him. If I wanted to send a letter to my grandma I would go to the post office. Fast forward 20 years and the world has changed immensely. There is still a nonsensical song sitting at the top of the charts, but how we go about our daily doings has evolved. Phone calls have yielded to text messages, and mailboxes got transposed for inboxes. There are smart devices in the hands of what appears to be every human on earth, and these glorified pieces of modern ingenuity are holding our minds and our bodies hostage.
When I asked my team of trainers if our desire to be logged on, and connected to the outside world has negatively impacted our workouts, the conversation ushered in a wealth of insight, with a thread of insecurity.
"I think cell phones can create some serious pitfalls for those that take their workouts seriously." said Nasm Cpt Brittany Bechtold. "While you are on your phone checking your Facebook status, you could be getting more reps and sets in." For those of us who have a hard time logging off, this couldn't be more true. I often find myself doing a set, and updating my Instagram. Performing another set, and poking around on Google. In my quest to be more productive, I have put aside the purpose behind my central activity, and that is to get a good workout.
Certified Trainer Natalia Proscinski admits at times she could swap the handheld device, for dumbbells, but also understands it's harder said than done. "I understand how checking social media accounts could provide some motivation, but for the most part I think it is a hinderance. It simply opens up a world of reasons and excuses to put your workout on hold. There is no way you could be training at your highest intensity if you are constantly on your phone."
"It seems like people aren't even working out anymore. They are just going to the gym to get some selfies in." ~Brittany B.
Working out can not only do wonders for you body, but it can also have positive effects on your mental well-being. It gives you an opportunity to connect with yourself on a deeper level. Are we missing out on this opportunity by tuning in to Twitter? "I think focus and intention can greatly determine what you get out of your workouts." said Cpt Justin DeGuia. "If you are on your phone, you cannot be mindful of what you are doing."
Physician and award winning author Deepak Chopra says that, "Mindfulness is a conscious unattached nonjudgemental awareness that is useful to bring clarity to mind, and more insight, intuition and creativity into one's life." Should mindfulness be a part of our everyday workouts? Can separating ourselves from the outside world bring about more clarity of mind and insight?
"Lifting weights is all about visualizing how you see yourself performing, and making that visualization a reality. It requires focus and preparation." ~Reygie P. Team Leader
Here are Team Reactive's top tips for tuning out.
- Schedule time to sign off. There is no better time to do it, than when you are working out. (Basia)
- Check accounts and email before you start training, so that workout time is for you. (Justin)
- Plan your workouts ahead of time. This will force you to stay on course. (Chris)
- Build your mind/body connection by developing rituals like stretching and warming up. (Reygie)
- Save phone usage for sets that require high recovery time. (Natalia)
- Keep social media usage positive and motivating. Stay away from content that brings you down. (Brittany)
- Take the battery out of your phone, or leave it in your car or locker. (Team Reactive)
Growth is not possible without struggle. In order for something to grow it must press up against things around it. It must move the old out of the way, to make space for something new. Challenge yourself by embracing new habits, and making room for a stronger more mindful you.
Team Reactive regularly gets together to do a “Brain Dump.” This sharing of ideas creates opportunities for digging deeper into the needs of our clients, as well as discovering new ways to connect with them on a daily basis.