Several studies have been performed to research the effect of distraction on performance. The results show that the subjects were able to run for a significantly longer time while being distracted compared to when running without any distraction, due to the brain perceiving the physical symptoms of exhaustion much later. Besides, being distracted while running also turns treadmill sessions a more enjoyable experience.
The weather outside is frightful but this doesn’t have to stop you from doing the best form of cardio – running. And if you keep yourself distracted, even if only by listening to Dean Martin while you run, will help you perform better.
The weather outside is frightful, Dean Martin keeps singing around this time of the year. This is great if you sit in front of the fireplace with a glass of mulled wine in your hand but not that great news if you routinely go out and run. The treadmill is a viable alternative to running, taking it indoors. Using the treadmill has its shortcomings, like the smaller energy expenditure compared to running outside. But the most important difference between running outdoors and running indoors is boredom, which – aside from turning running into a much less enjoyable experience – also reduces your performance.
The phenomenon sometimes referred to as “treadmill boredom” is exactly what it sounds: getting bored while using the treadmill. And this affects your performance pretty significantly, as shown by numerous studies conducted over the years. Luckily, the boredom of running on a treadmill can easily be counteracted thanks to one of the 3 useful gadgets to increase your workout performance: the smartphone.
Smartphones are small and have a massive entertainment potential. They double as small, lightweight, and portable media players that are easy to take with you anywhere – and this “anywhere” includes the treadmill, too. Listening to music while you run outdoors offers you enough aural distraction that, paired with the constantly changing environment, will lead to an extended time spent running. On a treadmill, the environment stays constant, so distracting your brain by watching a YouTube video or an episode of your favorite series is the next best choice.
You can even time your workout to your preferred shows. A short-form sitcom, like “How I Met Your Mother” or “That 70’s Show” are perfect for a short, 25-minute session. A normal episode that lasts for about 50 minutes is great for a longer session. This distraction from running will not only make your treadmill session less boring but it can also extend the time before you get exhausted.