What are you watching on TV during your workout?

6497104445_d9c9c4f355_bWatching TV tends to be counterproductive for engaging in physical activity.  This is probably because people typically watch TV while they’re sitting on the couch. Ironically, many gyms have televisions lined up side by side, across the walls in front of exercise machines. Many people claim that the television distracts them from feeling tired, during their workout.  Most of the time, each television is on a different channel, allowing a variety of interests to be pleased.  Some televisions might be showing sports highlights on ESPN, while another might be the Food Network showcasing how to cook the newest and tastiest meal.

Does the TV channel you’re watching have any effect on your workout?  While the answer to that question may seem obvious to you, it is actually different for everyone because everyone’s motivation is different.

Some people will watch the Food Network show techniques to bake the best chocolate cake, full of fat and sugar, and ultimately become angry.  All they can think about during their workout, is that chocolate cake and how hungry they are.  They can end up becoming discouraged, and end up leaving the gym to go eat.

Other fitness advocates can see that same show and feel very motivated because they want to be able to eat it without feeling guilty, because of the unhealthy contents. This can give the person working out a visible and motivating reason for working out. They will give their workout everything they have, so that the piece of cake is well earned in the future.

On the other side of the spectrum, watching sport networks while working out have seen more positive fitness effects. One study showed that when watching someone else exercise, you will become more fit, as well.  This was shown through observing a person watch a video of someone else exercising, and in return, the viewer’s nerve activity increased.  This directly relates to workout attitude enhancing, personal motivation is boosted when you’re watching another person get fit. If you want to test this theory, watch a CrossFit competition during your next workout.

Find what works for you when you go to the gym and place yourself on a machine in front of a television station that encourages you to perform your best during your workout.  Whether that is watching the food or sports network, or even just the news, you are the key to finding your own individual success, and what works for you.

Photo credit: UNE Photos

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