Body Buzz: TV And iPods – Can They Be A Distraction To Your Workout?

February 20th, 2007 // 3 Comments

According to a recent report on msnbc.com iPods and the televisions in the gym may do more harm than good for some exercise enthusiasts. According to recent findings, the audio and video that is seen and heard at the gym keeps some exercisers pumped, but distracts others.

We have all been to our gyms and we all know that most of them have a half a dozen TV’s, not to mention loud music blaring from the aerobics studio, as well as tunes playing on the sound system. All of those factors combined can serve as a major distraction for some people trying to work out. So that poses the following question: Are those distractions good or bad for exercisers? Researchers say that it goes both ways. Some music and video can inspire a workout for better, but for some individuals they may serve as distractions, hindering one’s performance. In a way, music can add static to the mind-body connection.

For me personally, when I did not have my iPod and had first started to exercise again, my workouts were not as great. When I invested in the wonderful creation by Apple, I ended up enjoying my workouts much more and found that I was working out longer. I think workouts are much more enjoyable when you are listening to your own music and not a random play list that you can’t control. I enjoy people-watching or having a focal point like a TV to watch as well. For me it makes running on the treadmill seem to go a lot faster.

Continue the debate after the jump…

On the flip side, what research seemed to show is that athletes who wanted a peak performance from their workout were better off ditching the headphones and focusing on their bodies. Studies indicated that the more distracted an athlete, the slower their performance times. If you want to maintain a high-intensity level you pretty much need to focus on your body throughout your workout.

Personally, I think there is some truth to this but I think it all depends on each individual. I am more focused and have better workouts when I am running and listening to fast-paced music. I have designed my iPod to access different play lists with songs I think move to the pace of each workout. I can also see how watching television or having different sounds coming from different areas of the club could hinder a person’s workouts. The best way to check is try a workout with or without your iPod or MP3 player and see if you can tell a difference!

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  1. Vicki

    I can’t workout without my iPod either. And I do know that it doesn’t distract me from my workout and helps me keep up the intensity. When I’m on the elliptical, I listen to hard trance music that is about 140+ beats per minute. The fast beat motivates me to keep moving with the tempo. It also makes me imagine that I’m dancing, which makes a long workout more enjoyable. I can see how other things can be distracting though, like reading a book. But the iPod only increases my focus on my workout.

  2. lexi

    hmm. i plug earphones into my zen creative device and watch tv or movies, although sometimes i’ll ust listen to music on it if i don’t want to start a show without finishing it. am i really hindering my worout by watching law & order, guy ritchie films, and simpson reruns?? i can’t even imagine running on my eliptical for an hour without watching a show/film though. i’d probably be so bored after 5 minutes i’d hop off and go looking for cookies to eat.

  3. Running with my ipod does make the workout more enjoyable. But I almost fell off the tredmill yesterday trying to shake my ass and run at the same time!

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