When it comes to exercise, more and more gyms and fitness programs are implementing technology into their routines, such as giving their participants workout bands and fitness trackers to analyze their heart rate and blood pressure. While having the ease of technology is certainly beneficial, there is actual scientific data that says that there is value in flying solo and moving away from technology. In take time to practice mindfulness during your actual workout, you actually will be able to gain more of an insight on your body and how you handle certain intervals and intensities. Plus - we are always in front of technology! Why not get away from it sometimes! This is our look into the unplugged workout:
What Is An Unplugged Workout?
Unplugged workouts are - to your surprise - just that (sorry if you were expecting something more exciting). They are workouts that require you to remove yourself from technology - meaning any fitness trackers or smartwatches, smartphones, iPods, etc. It is about being in the moment, becoming in-tune to your body and how your body handles a workout. When it comes to unplugged workouts, Greg McMillan, an exercise physiologist and the founder of McMillan Running online coaching, suggests that the exercise, "helps you understand the link between how you feel and how you perform on top of that, being able to always get the most out of your body and workout."
When it comes to listening to your body, the science is legit! In a study performed by the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, research had found that giving yourself the much needed body checking and self-talk is actually a more effective gauge than simply relying on technology - especially when it comes to cardio. For example, when you are doing cardio, go at a pace in which you can only say short choppy sentences and you are in a moderate workout zone. This is when you are using only 50-65% of your energy or effort. If you are breathless, you are above this zone, and if you can say full sentences with ease, you aren't pushing yourself hard enough.
Asking yourself a simple, "how do I feel," is also an effective strategy for monitoring your workout. Being able to ask this question actually poses a better reflection on how you're responding to training than an objective measure. This has actually been test and proven according to a recent review of studies in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. According to author Anna Saw, "by analyzing the findings of 56 studies that included both subjective and objective measures, we found that subjective measures were better at reflecting how well an athlete was responding to training."
Getting Out Of A Technology-Packed Workout
Many people within our society are know used to working out within a dissociative mindset, intentionally distracting themselves to get away from their mind thinking about the discomfort of their workout or training to hold on for a little longer. We often crank a playlist to forget about the heaviness of our arms or legs during an exercise, or even put on a workout video to get us motivated and in check. However, it can actually be beneficial to enter into an associative state during your workout. As we said, there is an importance with being in-tune to your body and its needs. Being able to listen to your body, you will be able to push yourself when you can or back off when the workout gets too tough.
Getting into an associative state within your workout consists of two things:
- Maintaining A Sense Of Your Effort Level - Meaning that you are consistently checking in with yourself and how your body feels during a workout.
- Deciding Your Intensity And How Hard You Push Yourself Throughout A Workout - Becoming in-tune to yourself and your workout while maintaining an intensity that your body can handle throughout your workout - adjusting as needed.
In getting comfortable with an unplugged workout, it is suggested that you do one at least once a week before fully committing. Start by going for a run, just yourself and nature, allowing you to become one with yourself and your body. Then progress through other workouts as you get comfortable with each routine.
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