Sunday, August 12, 2012

Texting is Not an Exercise

Texting is Not an Exercise

This city commands your attention.  It demands your best.  It even demands all of your time, money, and energy.  You can be and do anything you want in this place, but you have to be careful how you play your cards because it can swallow you whole without even chewing.  The money says I own you, the fashion screams I dare you, and the talent smirks don’t play unless you came to win. 

Demand for greatness in New York creates a demand for all the right tools to help you succeed.  With technology being where it is, I noticed I’m behind the times as I recently witnessed a three year old navigating an iPad like Beethoven would navigate a piano.  Scary. Everywhere I look I see ears stuffed with noise-canceling headphones, eyes glued to smart phones, and fingers texting on blackberry keyboards faster than I can type on a computer.  One of the biggest shockers for me to see was the, I’m so busy I need two cell phones phenomenon.  As a trainer I’ve even endured some of my own clients holstering their devices during session, responding to e-mails and taking phone calls.  Where do we draw the line?  And what role does this play in our health?

The current issue of The Week magazine covers this topic with an article, “Technology: Is it making addicts of us all?” (  Did you know that they are now going to be adding “Internet Use Disorder” to the appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?  The article states that there are in fact dangers and consequences associated with the non-stop interaction between you and your devices.  One viewpoint in the article states that it’s due to our employers now expecting us to be available every second of every day, which in turn looks like us hailing a cab, writing a text, and talking to someone on the other end of the phone simultaneously.  Oh my, how efficient we are.  But the science behind it, as Tony Dokoupil explains, is that when your device lets you know you have a new text, e-mail, voice mail, etcetera your brain receives a “feel good” shot of dopamine.   What that looks like over an extended period of time is your brain needing instant gratification, and diminished ability to focus, empathize and have self-control.  He noted that brain scans of an Internet Addict are not a far cry from those of cocaine and alcoholic addicts.  The other mild side-effects of the addiction to tech is depression and acute psychosis. 

So my friends, I beg of you, do not work out with your phone.  Give your phone a much needed one-hour break from you.  Texting is not a sport or an exercise, and the world will not explode if you do not write a response e-mail immediately, I promise!  If the thought of being alone in a room without TV, a phone, a computer and music is terrifying, then this message is definitely for you.  I am in a position of responsibility for your health and wellbeing, and I assure you I am on your team.  Health is wealth and if you’re going crazy being a slave to technology, at what point are you going to draw the line for yourself?  I don’t believe there is any amount of money or status from a career that is worth your mental, physical and emotional happiness. 
Big K and I have an open-door policy if you would like any help getting started on your journey to great success with your health. 
Be well,
little k

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