Is it Safe to Use Noise Canceling Headphones on a Run

running with noise cancelling headphones

There’s nothing better than an early morning run to get the blood pumping. What better way to keep it pumping than listening to some upbeat music to keep your eyes fixed on the finish line? Is it safe, however, to drown out the sounds of the world around you while moving at quick speeds through potentially crowded areas? The easy answer to that question is yes and no.

Anytime one or more of your senses is impaired you are going to be at risk especially when moving at high speeds. Some of the new noise cancelleing headphones like the Bose QC 20  are extemely good at their job of cancelling out background noises, which in certain situations – could be a hindrance.

These factors and the dangers that come with them however, for the most part depending on the setting. In other words it depends in great part on where you are running. If you are on a track or a walking trail for the most part it will probably not be so bad. Just keep your eyes on the path and pay attention to your surroundings and you should be fine. Now chances are if you’re in a crowded urban area like Times Square you probably shouldn’t be running anyway. The same should go if you’re indoors, as we learned growing up. But what about a nice run around your local neighborhood? Anytime you’re in an urban or suburban area with roads and traffic you should always stay alert. Your sense of hearing often warns you of danger. Someone might shout at you to watch, you might hear a car coming or a horn honking while with the ear buds in place you won’t. You’ll simply have to compensate with your other senses, in particular by paying attention and keeping your eyes peeled. Simply follow these tips and you’ll be perfectly safe:

  • Stop at every crossing. If you need to keep your flow in movement and maintain your heartrate and breathing you can always run in place while you wait at a busy intersection
  • Always look both ways before you cross, first left, then right, then left again
  • If you’re not at a crosswalk always for someone to yield or when the street is free of cars and traffic
  • When not crossing a street look around you for any possible surprises. Glance back occasionally for other runnners, bikers, or other passers-by that may catch you by surprise, but pay attention to the path ahead
  • Pay attention to any traffic signals

If you’re in a more rural area or perhaps a walking trail your main concern might be wild animals you won’t hear coming, other people. Again just keep your eye on your surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for any signs of the unusual. So is it dangerous? Sure, so is swimming in the ocean in more than four feet of water or getting behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle. What’s important is to pay attention and always remember your basic safety precautions. Meanwhile feel like a king as your exalting choir sounds on your daily run, because you deserve it!

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