Posted by: macintoshsisters | January 11, 2007

TV, iPod Bad for Exercising?

January 11, 2007 – Jennifer Unruh can run a mile in two songs. “I’ve got it figured out,” said Unruh, who moves to the beat of Van Halen and The Fray on her iPod. “Usually, every song lasts about four minutes. I run a mile in a little over eight. So if I can get through two songs, I know I’m a mile though my run.”

Gyms are jammed with people like Unruh – the guy on the treadmill watching ESPN, the aerobic class bouncing to “Hollaback Girl,” the spinner reading Self magazine. Words, images and especially songs can provide inspiration for exercisers, as well as a distraction from tedium and discomfort. Unruh, director of wellness support at the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, uses her songs-per-mile mind games as a way to keep engaged.

But are those distractions good or bad for exercisers? Researchers say it cuts both ways. Yes, a dose of video or audio can inspire better workouts. But distractions can also hurt performance. In a way, music can add some static to the mind-body connection.

Since the dawn of the Walkman, headphones have been as important as sneakers to many exercisers. Jacqueline Wojtusik, a fashion designer who lives near Albany, N.Y., and wears headphones for her regular workouts, listens to disco, ’80s dance, electronic – anything as long as it has a fast beat.

FULL article at 6abc

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