Wait, Wait, Wait — Should We All Be Working Out Without Music?!

If the thought of ditching your earbuds gives you anxiety-induced hives, you're not alone.

The other day, I was chatting with a runner friend who mentioned she doesn’t run with music. My jaw dropped. I asked, “WHY, oh, whyyyyy?” She said she simply likes to soak up her surrounding environment, something that doesn’t happen so easily with Pitbull blasting into her eardrums.

Fair enough.

And turns out, along with allowing us all to be more conscious of the world around us, ditching music can also help you uncover aspects of your workouts that are usually drowned out by Beyoncé’s “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” At least that’s what fitness instructor Ryan McCann told the folks over at Well + Good last week. As he, a believer in headphones-free sweat sessions, explained, when you lose the distraction of music, you increase your ability to pay attention to things like posture, form, breathing, pace, intensity, and all sorts of other important details that impact athletic performance.

Long story short: In his pro opinion, ditching music during your workouts can help you to get more out of your workouts and become a better athlete.

And that’s not the only reason to consider ditching music during a sweat session. As Martin Fritz Huber writes for Outside, running without music gives us all the oh-so-rare chance to “value the few remaining moments we actually have to ourselves.”

And even with all this incentive, the thought of lacing up my running shoes and hitting the Schuylkill River Trail without a painstakingly crafted playlist humming through my earbuds gives me the kind of anxiety-induced butterflies that are usually reserved for mid-flight turbulence. But still, I think I’ll try it. Because if not listening to Beyoncé during my sweat session will help me get more out of my workouts and up my chances of looking like Beyoncé in a unitard, I’m game.

What about you? Are you already on the music-free workout train or does the mere thought of sweating without the distraction of Spotify give you hives?

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