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This Is Why You Should Ditch Your Phone The Next Time You Go To The Gym

Your smartphone can feel like your BFF when it comes to working out.

From free fitness apps, to progress trackers, to virtual coaches that inspire confidence — the little glowing screen right in front of you seems to have it all.

But as close as you are with your iPhone, research says it might be better for you to ditch the devices when you go to the gym.

A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that people who paused and texted during a 20-minute workout spent about 10 of those minutes in a low-intensity zone — but just a measly seven minutes were spent exercising at a higher intensity.


Meanwhile, people who worked out without a phone spent only three minutes in low intensity, and almost 13 minutes in high intensity.

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Looks like you might need your high school history teacher on the elliptical next to you so she can ask why you're looking down so much, hm?

#Memories.

Using your phone during a workout doesn't just decrease the intensity of your exercises, though.

A study from earlier this year, published in the journal Performance Enhancement & Health, found that texting during exercise had a negative effect on balance.

But it doesn't stop at just texting — talking on the phone also affected people's balance in the study, making it 19 percent worse for those who were on their phone.


When you really think about it, as useful a resource as your phone can be, it can disrupt the entire flow of your workout.

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Elite Daily spoke with personal trainer and varsity basketball coach, Carmine Rotolo, who explained why he never uses his phone when he trains:

I am vehemently against using your phone during your workout.

Any distractions during a training session upsets the flow, takes the client's focus off of their task, and can ruin the zone that the client is working in (for instance, if they're looking to have their heart rate in a certain zone).

OK, I know what you must be thinking.

As much as you may want to be totally in the zone, there's no way in hell you'll try to cruise through cardio without your go-to “Beast Mode” Spotify playlist.

I feel you, fam. And luckily, you're in the clear.


Bumping your beats on the treadmill won't affect your balance or your intensity at all, according to recent research.

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In fact, some feel-good music during exercise can actually boost workout intensity, and maybe even make you smile through the brutality of burpees (I said maybe).

Rotolo backs this up as well, explaining that, while he refrains from using his cell phone during his own workouts, music is the one exception.

For this, he uses his Apple watch instead, which he connects to wireless headphones.

Rotolo recommends having a playlist ready beforehand, so you're not tempted to sneak in that tempting text.

Personal trainer, Holly Rilinger, weighed in on the phone fiasco as well, saying she swears by switching her phone to airplane mode when she's working out with music (or she just hops on that wireless headphone train, as well).

She tells Elite Daily,

When we give our full attention to anything, we do it better, she says.

When I put my phone away and give myself my full attention, I always have a better workout.

Adios, Android, and hello, wireless headphones.

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Georgina Berbari

Staff Writer

Georgina is a fitness writer at Elite Daily. She is also a yoga instructor and runs the popular lifestyle Instagram page, @thelittleflowerpetal.
Georgina is a fitness writer at Elite Daily. She is also a yoga instructor and runs the popular lifestyle Instagram page, @thelittleflowerpetal.

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