To Listen to Music or Not While Exercising? That is the WRONG Question.

I was scanning my news reader this morning and noticed that the top two entries had a little something in common…or not.

So, let me get this straight… two popular fitness-themed websites uploaded two different articles that suggest two completely opposite approaches on the question of whether to listen to music while running…within 6 minutes of each other. Oh, the irony.

Now, I didn’t read the articles – no interest whatsoever. And just between you and me, I’m not much of a music listener while I train – sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. But I never listen to it while I run (tried it once, and never again!). And this got me thinking.

In the fitness industry, we’re almost always asking the wrong questions (and the same goes for the health industry, as a whole – and especially in certain sections of it like weight loss, diets, supplements, etc.).

So, let me propose something here. Instead of asking whether or not listening to music is a good idea while running, or worse yet, if it’ll help improve your performance, why not simply ask yourself if you – yes, YOU – actually want to listen to music while you run. And if you do, then go for it. And if not, then don’t. And then forget about it! Of course the experience will be a little different! And of course there will be some advantages and disadvantages to each method. But who cares as long as YOU are happy with your choice?

All of this over-analyzing distracts us from the most important issues – like the fact that we should all be spending more time outdoors exercising – whether running or otherwise – with ear buds or without. That’s what really matters, folks.

So, stop waiting for permission to do what you love – and how you love to do it. Just get going! And hey, if you’re an analytical type and you’re interested in the performance applications and other idiosyncrasies of listening to music while running, then go ahead and look into it. Apparently, there are people out there researching this stuff and sharing their findings with the world. And that’s great! Good for them.

But I think the most important issue here is that we should stop this endless search for MORE information and validation and just get going with what we already know to be true – that exercise is really good for us and that spending time outdoors is REALLY good for us, etc. So, let’s do those things and not worry about the trivial details like whether or not to listen to music. Trust me. There’s more important stuff to worry about.

So, if you want to stop struggling with your fitness regiment, then stop asking the wrong questions. Make sure you’ve got all your big rocks in the jar before you put in the little rocks, the sand, and the water.

Coach Siff, OUT!

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