Technology is a wonderful thing, but do you ever stop to think about how much time you spend in front of your laptop? A couple of hours? Half a day? Similarly, have you ever picked up your phone to do something, and next thing you know, you’re scrolling through a social media newsfeed? In fact, it’s estimated we reach for our phone on over 50 separate occasions in the day!(1)
Imagine the impact this can have on your daily life, and how it contributes to stress, inhibits your sleep pattern, and saps time from your schedule. Furthermore, in a recent blog poll, a third of you listed being on your digital devices as the habit you most wanted to eliminate from your evening routine! Here’s why you should cut down on your screen time and what you can do instead to start your digital detox.
Why you should try a digital detox
Besides the obvious physical strain on our eyes from too much screen time, we’ve become conditioned to value the connectivity and social interaction that technology has provided us with. Our brain releases dopamine in response to social approval (a like on an Instagram picture, for example), but the absence of this same chemical (i.e. a lack of notifications) generates heightened stress levels. This is why you’re reaching for your phone every couple of minutes after posting/sending a message; we have an underlying need to be connected and to be liked.(2)
A digital detox aims to address this need by creating a sense of “mindfulness”. Imagine it as an active form of meditation, it’s about being aware of your feelings and emotions and living in the moment: e.g If you’re happy, you know why and if you’re having an off-day, you’re aware it won’t last forever and are able to have a more balanced perspective on your life. on your life.
What does this have to do with a digital detox? Well, living with your phone or laptop by your side distracts from this aim of living in the moment and inhibits mindfulness. It makes it more difficult to keep this balanced perspective, since we come into contact with so many outside influences when we browse social media or scan through our email inbox.
Sports and Stress
Alongside a detox from digital media, just a small amount of aerobic exercise can help us to feel less stressed. Jogging for as little as 20 minutes a day can really boost your mental state.(3)
How can you start to digitally detox and become more mindful?
1. Track your usage
“I’m not *addicted* to my phone”, “I don’t use my computer all that much at work”, you might think you aren’t in need of a digital detox, but many of us would be surprised at how much time we spend in front of screens.
Many phone/tablet/computer operating systems now allow you to monitor how much time you’re actively spending on them, but you might be equally shocked if you measure which apps you spend the most time on, and the relation between them. It might make sense for work or health apps to take up most of your screen-time, as they tend to be related to your offline-self, but if social media apps repeatedly appear to take up most of your time, you may need a detox of the digital variety!
2. Phase mobiles out of your daily routine
Where would we be without mobile phones? They’re the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we see at night, and that can be a problem. We can begin to feel anxious when we go only a few minutes without them, and they could even be impacting your sleep.
The key to “switching off” is to avoid having your phone available anytime, anywhere. Make it something you check only once you’re up and about: For example, ditch the devices on your daily commute and take a newspaper or magazine to read instead, or put your phone out of sight and out of mind in the evening by charging it outside the bedroom at night.
Staying active without your phone
Want to digitally detox but worried about logging your activity through the adidas Running app? No problem! You can leave your phone at home and add your activity manually at a later date.
3. Detox as a duo
You might be more motivated to persevere if you can persuade someone to detox with you! Whether it’s family, friends, or work colleagues, having someone around who isn’t glued to screens makes you more likely to socialize together, which is perfect for reducing stress: eat lunch together or try a new sport for two such as tennis or squash. Having a detox partner will also give you another pair of eyes to watch out in case you subconsciously start scrolling through social media again…
One way to quickly curb those notification urges when you’re with your friends: next time you’re all out together, everyone stacks their phone in the middle of the table, and the first one to cave and grab it to peak for any notifications buys a round of drinks!
4. Set limits and stick to them
It can be difficult to go cold turkey and cut yourself off completely (after all, how are you meant to use apps like adidas Running and adidas Training without your phone?), but you can make a start by designating certain times screen-free: mealtimes for instance, or consider a walk through nature where you’re not obsessed with finding the ideal Instagram shot.
It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to go days on end without checking your work email, taking an important call, or responding to a message, but don’t do more than you have to. Set aside an hour or so in the evening when people can get in touch with you, and after that it’ll have to wait — you’re detoxing after all!
5. Use your newfound freedom
As well as creating mindfulness for yourself and feeling like you don’t need to be reachable 24/7, you’d be surprised at how much extra time you’ll find in the day when you aren’t browsing your social media feeds for half an hour in the morning and at night! Now you have the chance to really reward yourself for being less digitally-dependent. Cook a delicious dinner for yourself, curl up with a glass of wine and a good book, or relax with a short stress-busting workout, such as yoga or foam rolling. You’ve earned it!
The “Online Life” isn’t always the easiest thing to leave behind but a digital detox doesn’t necessarily mean you can never pick up a phone or laptop ever again! Instead it’s about reducing your dependence on digital devices. The aim is to realize, whether it’s doing sports outside, or a walk with friends to enjoy nature, that there’s plenty more to life than a screen.
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What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice
Kevin turned to food for comfort as he dealt with the death of his father. He chose a healthier path when his sister was diagnosed with cancer.
The post What It Took for This Obese Doctor to Take His Own Health Advice appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.
Chipotle Black Bean Burgers With Avocado Salsa
Magnesium for Athletes – Get the Facts
Magnesium is probably one of the first minerals that comes to mind when you think of fitness. But, hardly anyone knows how essential magnesium truly is and how it can improve your physical performance. We have the facts for you!
Magnesium performs numerous functions
Magnesium is a vital mineral: it is present in nearly every cell of your body. Approximately 30% of the magnesium in your body is stored in the muscles. The mineral performs numerous functions: it is needed for aerobic (= with oxygen) and anaerobic (= without oxygen) energy production. Magnesium is also required to form endogenous protein (protein of body origin, rather than dietary origin) and plays an important role in muscle contraction and relaxation. The mineral is also essential to the formation of bone and teeth. In addition, it is involved in the activation of hundreds of enzymes.
How important is magnesium for athletes?
Studies show that the more active you are, the more magnesium you need.(1) Scientists have linked a high level of magnesium in blood to improved muscle performance, such as greater leg strength. This means that you can improve your performance by ensuring an adequate supply of this important mineral. What happens in your body? According to studies, magnesium appears to lower lactate levels in your blood.(2) Lactate (lactic acid) is a metabolite that is primarily produced by intense physical exercise. If it builds up, it can limit muscle performance and you will fatigue faster. Plus, exercising without sufficient magnesium will lead to increased oxygen consumption and heart rate. The mineral also plays a major role in strengthening your immune system. It works similar to an antioxidant by strengthening your defenses and protecting you from diseases.
Increased magnesium intake can be helpful
According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), healthy adult females should get 310-320 mg per day and healthy adult males 400-420 mg per day.(3) A balanced diet is usually enough to satisfy this daily requirement. But, if you like to exercise or work a physically demanding job, your diet probably won’t cover your daily needs because you can lose a lot of magnesium through sweat. This loss has to be replaced, but the amount of magnesium required varies depending on the individual and should be discussed with a sports physician.
You also need to consume more magnesium in the case of stress.(4)
How can I tell if I’m getting enough magnesium?
Pay attention to Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
- Leg cramps
- Digestive problems
- Abnormal heart rhythm
Consult your doctor if you experience the magnesium deficiency symptoms listed above.
Top 9 Magnesium Rich Foods
The general rule is that getting nutrients through your food is the healthier option – as opposed to taking dietary supplements. The same holds true when it comes to magnesium for athletes. A balanced diet gives us (almost) all the nutrients we need. So which foods are highest in magnesium? Here are the 11 best sources of magnesium:
- Sunflower seeds (395 mg/100 g)
- Pumpkin seeds (402 mg/100 g)
- Sesame (347 mg/100 g)
- Flax seeds (350 mg/100 g)
- Cashews (270 mg/100 g)
- White kidney beans (140 mg/100 g)
- Chickpeas (115 mg/100 g)
- Oats (139 mg/100 g)
- Swiss chard (81 mg/100 g)
Good to know:
Mineral water also contains varying amounts of magnesium. You can find the nutrition facts on the label of the bottle.
Magnesium Supplements – Good or Bad?
If your doctor recommends magnesium supplements to treat a magnesium deficiency, it’s important to be careful about the dosage. You shouldn’t take more than 250 mg of supplemental magnesium per day.(5) Magnesium can act as a natural laxative; if you take too much, it may cause diarrhea.
The more you workout, the more magnesium you need in your diet. Don’t underestimate the importance of magnesium for athletes and focus on meeting your daily requirements with a balanced healthy diet including magnesium rich foods. If you do experience magnesium deficiency symptoms, consult your doctor. Supplements could be a helpful solution. Keep in mind: if you are preparing for a race or competition, make sure to start integrating the supplements into your diet several weeks beforehand to give your body time to adjust.
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