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Should you listen to music when you run?

When people decide to go for a run for exercise, they often choose to listen to music. For those who simply want to cover a lot of distance, music is a way to make it less boring. For those who want to get faster and in better shape, music can actually amp them up and help them run harder. So you can see that there are definitely advantages.

However, are there any risks that you should consider or any reasons why you may consider not listening to music when you run? Purists may say that you’ll run at your best without music anyway, but are there other reasons to leave the music at home, even if you don’t fall into that camp?

It can be a distraction

One of the problems with listening to music while you run is that it can cause significant distractions. This is similar to how studies have linked listening to music to distracted driving. You’re more likely to make mistakes, such as stepping off of a curb in front of a car that you never heard coming. The music sort of insulates you from the world around you, it prevents you from hearing certain warning signs, and you may get so caught up in the music that you stop paying as much attention to exactly where you’re running.

Now, that doesn’t mean that an injury would be your fault. If you have the right of way at a crosswalk and you don’t hear a car that is running the red light, the accident is still the driver’s fault. Leaving the headphones at home may help you avoid a crash because you won’t be as distracted, but it doesn’t change liability. If you’re facing significant costs after an injury, be sure you know about the legal steps you can take to seek compensation.