Top tips to protect your hearing at the gym
There’s no denying the benefits a decent exercise program can have on both our physical and mental health. However, many gyms still tend to turn the volume up, which isn’t so good for our ears.
That’s no excuse to give up on your gym time though — just follow our top tips to keep your sessions safe and your hearing healthy.
Monitor your music
Music’s great for working out. It helps us get in the zone for exercise, keep pace and stay motivated. However, we can damage our hearing if we listen to music too loudly through headphones. To stay safe, set the volume to a maximum of 60 per cent and avoid the temptation to nudge it up as you get moving. It’s also worth investing in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
Take care in classes
Gym classes are notoriously noisy, from the pumping music to the instructor shouting out directions over the top of it. You can protect your hearing without missing out on the fun of group sessions though. Try wearing ear plugs during classes or even better, protect everyone’s hearing by asking the instructor to turn the music down.
Watch the weights
The noise of gym weights banging can reach as high as 140 decibels, louder than an air raid siren or jet engine at take-off. Needless to say, sound levels that high can cause damage to your ears, so always be careful not to bang weights when using them. You could also ask others around you to do the same.
Straining too hard or holding your breath during high intensity exercise can put unsafe pressure on the ears, causing tears in the delicate membranes between the middle and inner ear. You can protect your ears by making sure you keep breathing properly during exercise and avoid lifting heavy weights that make you strain too hard.
Check any changes
Most importantly, if you notice any changes in your hearing after exercise, such as ringing in your ears or finding it harder to hear, don’t delay in getting your hearing checked.