Do our Smartphones make us train dumber?

trainPhones have sure come a long way. Could you imagine trying to run or train with the phone in the picture? Many of us use our phones to track our health data, using various apps. Our phones can track our mileage, pace, steps, and elevation. There are other apps that can be used to track our strength sessions, etc.

But can too much access to technology during our training sessions actually hamper our workouts and actually distract us from being present and mindful during our strength training or running and cycling? In a sense can it be possible our smartphones are making our workouts dumbed down? Recently a study was done by Kent State University and published by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity that aimed to determine what role smartphones play in our fitness.

The Kent State University researchers took 44 students and put them on a treadmill for thirty minute sessions. They wanted to see what affect talking, texting, or rocking out to their favorite music had on their workouts and compared those to results of students not using smartphone at all during their treadmill session.

Well the verdict is in and is actually quite surprising. One might think that having access to real time data from your workout would help you exercise better, but it was not enough to overcome the distraction that the smartphone can be as well.

The students that were chatting on their phones saw their running speed slowed down by 10%. If the subject in the study were texting their numbers went even further downward, lowering their speed 10% while simultaneously lowering their heart rates by 10%.

One use of smartphones did actually have a positive impact on workouts, and that was listening to music. The students in the study raised heart rate and increased the speed the student ran at on the treadmill. So if you can resist texting, taking selfies, and talking, then bring along your smartphone for tracking data that is truly important to your workout, and for listening to music. If you cannot do that leave your smartphone home and train smarter.