New year, new me. You finally committed to working on the best physical you by going to the gym multiple days a week. Except about an hour in, you start getting really tired of it all. Before you run to the exit, pick up your phone.
If you're not careful, your phone can be a source of distraction. But if you're using it right, it can both keep you from getting sucked in and propel your workout to the next level. So here are a few ways that have helped me, and hopefully will help you follow through with your commitment to being the best physical you possible.
Tip #1: Use the Built-in Digital Health Tools
First, let's address the problem of your phone being a distraction at the gym. Recently, Apple and Google introduced a host of tools to help us protect ourselves from our phones. These tools remove common distractions and help you reel in your idle phone usage.
Enabling "Focus Mode" on Android or "Downtime" on iOS removes the ability to access all but a handful of apps. Use this feature to help prevent getting sucked into your phone and watching videos or browsing social media during your rest periods.
- More Info: How to Enable Downtime on Your iPhone
If you find that you get a lot of calls and messages during your workout, turn on Do Not Disturb. On iOS, you can set it to automatically turn on at your gym. On Android, you can create a calendar event for your workouts and set the phone to auto-silence when calendar events are ongoing. For more tips like these, don't miss our full Digital Wellbeing walkthrough below.
Tip #2: Set Timers for Rest Periods
I find that late in a workout, I lose focus during my last few rest periods. The time between each set starts to become longer and longer — but simply using the Clock app can help with this problem.
Create a timer for each rest period. During that time, set up the next set, drink some water, and get ready to get back to work. Once the time expires, force yourself to get up and perform the next set. Just that simple beep-beep-beep is one hell of a motivator.
Tip #3: Record Your Workouts
One tip that has helped tremendously is to plan my workout beforehand. I had never followed a program before, so I would just go to the gym with a body part in mind and wing it. This often led to periods of extended rest and distractions later in the workout as I searched around for what to do next.
To combat this, I learned to write down what I planned on doing for the day. Even better, I started recording my workouts. When it comes to muscle hypertrophy (or building muscle), one of the most important factors is progressive overload. However, with work and other out-of-the-gym activities, it's easy to forget what you did the previous week. Recording your workout solves this.
With the app RepCount, you can write out your workout and come to the gym with a plan. Then you can easily record what you did for each working set. With the program written, you know exactly what needs to get done, and with each rest period spent recording your progress, you can limit other diversions that you would otherwise deal with during this time.
Tip #4: There's Lots More Than Music to Help with Cardio
No matter what your fitness goals are, there is a good chance you are doing some form of cardio. Cardiovascular activities keep your heart healthy and help minimize fat gain. But cardio kind of sucks.
Since we have to do it, there are things you can do to make it more tolerable. While music is a great choice, there are other forms of entertainment that are more immersive, allowing you to forget the dreadful task of cardio. We actually wrote a whole article featuring different ways to make cardio something you look forward to — check it out at the "Don't Miss" link below!
This article was produced during Gadget Hacks' annual Health & Fitness special coverage. Read all of the Health & Fitness series.
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