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How to Run and Listen to Music Safely Outdoors

3 Reasons Earbuds Are Unsafe on Outdoor Runs

Music is one of the all-time best motivators when it comes to working out alone, but if you're also exercising outdoors, wearing earbuds isn't exactly the safest choice, and here are three reasons why.

  1. You can't hear cars or attackers: Whether crossing a busy street or running in the woods alone, you need to be completely aware, and not just with your eyes. Since you can't see what's coming from behind you, you need to rely on your sense of hearing to help you anticipate any possible danger headed your way. On a lighter note, running sans headphones makes it easier for you to share the trail with runners who might be trying to pass you.
  2. Beyoncé is distracting: Music evokes certain emotions and can bring up memories sending you into a nostalgic zone, making you unaware of your surroundings. This daydreaming puts you at risk for tripping, getting lost, and losing track of time.
  3. Permanent ear damage: If you blare your '80s playlist so loud that you can't hear anything around you, and you do it every time you work out, you're putting yourself at risk for some degree of hearing loss.

You don't have to break up with your iPod, so keep reading to hear some ways you can listen to your tunes safely.

  • Lower the volume: It's as simple as turning your tunes down a few notches, making it loud enough to hear the lyrics but quiet enough so you can hear the noises around you.
  • Ditch the earbuds: Unplug and turn on speakerphone instead. Stick your iPod in your pocket or an armband, and you'll be able to hear your music without the risk.
  • Vary the volume depending on where you are: When running along a safe, populated street, turn up your music, and when you come to an intersection where you need to cross the street, lower the volume, or pop the buds out of your ears.

Source: Flickr User Ed Yourdon

Join The Conversation
Jenny-Sugar Jenny-Sugar 5 years
I'm definitely not suggesting you blare your music on speakerphone, annoying everyone you pass by. Make it loud enough so you can hear, but not so loud you disturb other people.
kittydevita kittydevita 5 years
I really hope no one take the turn your speak phone suggestion. That just plain rude to everyone around you.A personal pet peeve of mine and I am sure many others including those who are not running and trying to enjoy the area you are in or being in the zone running when someone comes by and subjects you to their (inset music you hate here)
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