iPods and Exercise: Pros and Cons

Exercise is fun but it can be a solitary journey. Running, for example, is one of those exercises that is often done alone. To relieve boredom, you may be thinking about carrying your music with you to pass the time.

Everyone who is running on a treadmill, walking on an elliptical trainer or using the stair stepper has earphones in their ears. They are attached to iPods or MP3 players that pipe continuous music through your ears as you get on with your daily workout.

Are iPods safe? Here are the pros and cons.


When you are at the gym, exercising can be boring with nothing to distract you. The treadmill is going nowhere and there are other noises from the fifty other people who are working out around you. A little music can break the monotony.

iPods can help to lengthen your workout. Music can invoke many different responses in people. If you have chosen a playlist that has upbeat fast songs, you will tend to want to keep up with the pace and run faster. With your mind on the music and your breathing, you might continue to run long after your 45 minutes are up. And, there is no need for skip protection. IPods run continuously without any problem with audio quality.

IPods can help you to stick with your program. Music is not the only thing that you can play on them. You can listen to motivational material while you run. We all need motivation now and again to keep us honest in our workouts.

IPods are not distracting to others. Your music won’t bother others around you as they work out. But, you may have to tone down the volume if you sing with your music. Your lungs are getting a workout but your fellow exercisers may not appreciate your abilities.


While iPods work well in the gym, the results are not the same on the open road. Here, you are not just concentrating on your workout but the surrounding environment to keep yourself safe.

IPods can leave you vulnerable to injury from cars on the road. When the earphones are in, you can’t hear when a car is approaching from behind. You are also not aware of other dangers around you.

When running on your own, that same music tempo that works on a treadmill can slow you down. You’ll want to keep your heart rate up continuously to get the most from your workout.