Moving right along in our February Fitness Challenge.
Day 11 and counting!! How are you finding it so far?
Today I've asked you to have an electronic-free evening (an hour, 2 hours, the whole night). These days, this can be a mighty challenge. I notice it in myself sometimes, the tendency to 'doom-scroll' on social media... so I've become self-aware to a point where I recognize the shift from interacting and sharing with intention, to the continuous swipe of a mindless time absorber. At that point I will say out loud "Okay Kelsey, we're done... 5-4-3-2-1" then I put the phone away. 🤷♀️ Yes I treat myself like a child who won't leave the playground. I feel it's important to catch our own addictive tendencies to learn whether or not we are okay with continuing the behavior. I don't enjoy mindless scrolling or wasting precious time and in-fact electronics do take a toll on our focus, problem-solving, memory recall, and other mind-altering and physical effects... let alone the dis-connection electronics can perpetuate(4).
There are many benefits of electronics when used correctly:
Interaction (Social Media, Forums, Chats...)
Education (Courses, Articles, Lessons...)
Research (Science, Current Events, Facts...)
Information Sharing (Content, Inspiration, Awareness...)
Connection (Friends, Like-Minded People, Meetings...)
Personal Development (Apps, Quizzes, Resources...)
The list is large on how electronics and technology can be a useful tool within our daily lives. I mean, we are pretty fortunate to have what we have. I've grown up from the no internet days. My generation started their journey after the age of 10 with dial up computers. Our attention span and patience would never handle that these days!! I was interested in it enough, I took 4 years of information processing through out grades 9-12. It's actually one of the only classes I rarely skipped and fully enjoyed (plus my bullies never would have stepped foot in there 🤓). There is a lot to be said about the information we have at the press of a button these days. I just feel it's important to self-monitor... that includes our electronic use.
How does technology affect your health? Here is an article from Healthline which details the negative and positive effects of technology, not only for us but for kids too. There are some really great tips on how to regulate use, ease physical discomfort, and attempt to prevent over-use of devices before it becomes our own permanent health consequence. This means physically, mentally, and socially. A different article from Medical News Today repeats a lot of the same health repercussions, also mentioning the perpetuation of mental health issues (depression, anxiety, isolation...). More and more, technology is being classified under the addictions category. Attention, regulation, and education can help us overcome this too.
If you'd like to follow me down the rabbit hole, here are a few more articles I found:
What is Electronic Media Doing to Our Health by Two-Sides. It helped detail the difference between reading on your phone and picking up a paper copy of your favorite book.
9 Health Hazards of Electronic Devices for Kids by Health Hub. These are all great points to watch for... not to become obsessive or overbearing about... but to monitor our influence on children, regulate behaviors, and set up healthy habits for longevity.
Science Jargon Alert!! 🤓 Health Effects of Using Portable Electronic Devices Studied by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (From Science Daily). This concentrated more on the physical effects of technology use and found changes in body degeneration from over-use of devices. Best tip: Increase Physical Activity.
This one, The Surprising Side Effects of Using Technology, from Harvard Health Publishing (Harvard Medical School) outlines the neck, hand, and back issues we can develop and experience from continuous use. They include some good tips on how to reverse, prevent, or deal with such conditions too.
The Association Between Access to Electronic Devices in the Home Environment and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Children was a scientific study posted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. This was interesting because they found the most issue and decline was when children had access to electronics in their bedroom. The longer the time of use... the more negative effects were seen in their VO2 Max. That's our precise oxygen intake level during exercise (used mainly in sports medicine). 😃 Oh so interesting.
An lastly, How Does Technology Affect Men's and Women's Health by Northwest Primary Care. This touched on the same sort of effects outlined in most of these other articles. They did include some more helpful tips on how to keep watch and limit use.
The general overview: physical activity is important; core exercises, posture work, and cardio health being the main points. Limiting electronic/technology use can help us prevent or improve eye strain, improve neck/hand/back pain, reverse or prevent postural conditions, among many other mental health benefits.
I believe we get comfortable in our regular patterns and a lot of the time we tend not to learn until it's the hard way. Forward vision has been a skill I've used many times...
If I continue this behavior for the next 20 years:
where might I be?
what health issues could I have to deal with?
am I okay with that result?
My goal isn't to tell you how to run your life. It is to open up a perspective of thought, engage in conversation, and consider whether what we're doing on a daily (or consistent basis) is helping or hurting us. It's about research, introspection, and decisions...
What do you see for your future?
Where do you want to be?
Fitness Focus: Stretch your hips, legs, and butt.
I demonstrate a basic routine below or take some time to do your own favorite stretches.
(Important: stay within your own limits and remember form over finesse. Hold for 6-8 seconds unless you have completed a warm-up beforehand. Any questions, please reach out.)
There we have it. Day 11... in our February Fitness Challenge.
Any questions, message me anytime.
Once you've completed the day... comment below with your findings and progress, I'd love to support you while we challenge ourselves one day at a time. #DayOneAlways mentality with #believeagainfitness effort will create the #healthylifestyle consistency we need. Social media hashtag #februaryfitnesschallenge2021 and be sure to have FUN.
We've got this together.
🌹 Take care all and much love.