Exercise safely with these hearing protection pointers.
We love talking about the benefits of exercise, from strength training to cardio routines. It’s excellent for your overall health, including muscle strength, joint health, immunity, mental health, and more.
However, hearing health is something that people don’t often consider while planning their workouts. And whether or not you have hearing loss, protecting your hearing is essential!
Let’s share some tips to protect your hearing during exercise:
- Keep your earbud volume low
- Don’t stand too close to speakers
- Avoid activities that might hurt your ears
- Choose quieter workout environments
- Protect your hearing aids
- Clean and dry your ears afterward
Keep reading to learn how to implement these tips to protect your hearing during exercise!
Keep your earbud volume low
Exercise is a great time to enjoy some music or catch up on your favorite podcasts. Unfortunately, headphones and earbuds can be risky for your hearing if you turn them up too loud. If you’re wearing them to drown out other sounds in a noisy gym or keep yourself motivated during an outdoor jog, it might be tempting to increase the volume, but avoid turning it up past 60% of your device’s maximum volume.
Don’t stand too close to speakers
Do you love to attend group fitness classes where the instructors pump up the music to get everyone moving to the beat? Classes like Zumba, spin, and kickboxing are super fun, but be conscious of the volume. Choose a position far from any large speakers. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the instructor to turn it down a little — they’ll probably be glad to oblige!
Avoid activities that might hurt your ears
Lifting weights is an excellent form of exercise, but it can negatively impact your hearing if you aren’t careful. In particular, if you find yourself straining and holding your breath as you lift, it could cause damage to the inner ear called a perilymphatic fistula (PLF). When you exercise, try to avoid activities that cause extreme exertion or put you at risk for blows to the head/ears (e.g., boxing).
Choose quieter workout environments
Did you know that the sound of weights crashing to the ground can be as loud as a gunshot (up to 140 decibels)? Even if you don’t drop them yourself, working out next to another weightlifter could be enough to cause hearing damage if you aren’t careful. Gyms can also be full of other noise or loud music that all adds up to take a toll on your ears. If you go to a gym or fitness center, try to go during less busy hours, or take some of your exercises outdoors, to a quiet nature trail or park.
Protect your hearing aids
If you wear hearing aids, consider leaving them at home if you expect to get sweaty or damp during your workout. However, it makes sense that you’d want to hear well when you’re hiking with friends, taking a class, or exercising around other people. For these situations, use a hearing aid sweatband to protect your hearing aids from moisture. Here are some more tips on caring for your hearing aids.
Clean and dry your ears afterward
Just like you want your hearing aids to stay clean and dry, it’s best to treat your ears the same way! After exercise, take care of your ears by washing the outer ear with a warm, soapy washcloth, then patting them dry with a soft towel. Avoid sticking anything, like cotton swabs, inside of your ears.
Would you rather bring the gym home to you and work out in the comfort of your own space? Check out these free workout apps!