We all want to stay fit and look good. This can become harder with hearing loss as a possible side effect, as some types of physical activity can put our hearing at risk of damage. Thankfully, a few simple precautions can ensure that you get the most out of your chosen activity while keeping your hearing safe.
Think about the type of activity you wish to engage in. Be it pilates, kickboxing, aerobics, or dancing, most types of physical activities involve music. More often than not, this music is played at volumes that rise way above the recommended safe levels of 85dB, which can cause hearing loss over time.
Even the music playing at gyms is often higher than the recommended level. This does not mean that you have to remain silent about it and let your ears suffer the damage. If you feel that the music is too loud, make sure you inform your instructor.
If your instructor is unwilling to accommodate, find a studio and instructor that is conscious about hearing health and plays music at comfortable volumes. It is better to step out of uncomfortably loud situations rather than suffer permanent hearing loss.
Another way you can help protect your hearing is by wearing protective gears such as earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones while you work out. Keep a pair of earplugs handy in your gym bag or car’s glove compartment for this very use.
You can buy several pairs of disposable earplugs or get customized ones made by an audiologist to ensure a more snug fit and more effective result. This way your earplugs will stay in place while you exercise, and will also enable you to filter out unsafe sounds while letting your hear important sounds such as speech sounds.
When it comes to sounds, the further away you are from it, the better for your hearing. Position yourself as further back from the speakers as possible while you are working out. This will limit any hearing damage by keeping you at a safer distance from the source of the noise.
Your ears work hard every single day to help you listen to all the sounds of the world around you. Give them a well-deserved break sometimes. Limit your exposure to loud noises to less than 15 minutes at a time when you are exposing yourself to sound levels that exceed 100dB. Step outside for a break to drink some water and get some fresh air while letting your ears rest for a while, before resuming your workout session. Hearing loss is irreversible, so take good care of your ears while you still can.
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