These days, working out is almost impossible without some source of music. When’s the last time you went to the gym without your iPod? While music and exercise have always paired well together, new studies show real benefits.
Whether you jog, lift weights or take yoga classes, music—including how you get it—is critical to a good workout. Research from London led by the deputy head of research at the School of Sport and Education at Brunel University, Costas Karageorghis, found that music at the right tempo can increase motivation and lower your perception of physical effort. Other data supports similar findings.
The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology published a study showing that treadmill walkers who listened to high-tempo music displayed more endurance. But to get the most out of exercise, it helps to have high-quality headphones. Unfortunately the current marketplace doesn’t have many options for women.
As an active woman, both the playlist and headphones should be selected with care to match your personality and your preferred workout activities. If you’re having trouble finding the right headphones, consider the following tips:
1. Comfort is critical. On the days you wind up wearing headphones for several hours, it helps to have comfy buds that easily fit in or around your ear. Try out a few products if need be to find something that feels pleasantly secure.
2. Find the right fit. Typically headphones are made in standard sizes, which don’t always work for all ears. Companies have recently introduced headphones just for women, like the Koss Fit Series Headphones. The Koss Fit Series are 33 percent smaller than the average headphone. Make sure your headphones fit you; your music will literally sound better.
3. Variety is key. Stash a few pairs of headphones in different locations so they’re handy whether you’re at home or work. But remember to consider what qualities are important to you. Are they sweat-resistant? Do you prefer over the ear headphones or something smaller? If variety is truly the spice of life, your exercise routine deserves the same treatment.
4. Make them fun. Up-tempo music can energize any workout, especially when your headphones match your style. Choose headphones that reflect your personality.
5. Never compromise quality for price. To be frank, five-dollar earbuds probably won’t last long and definitely won’t provide the same quality. To keep motivation levels up, invest in a product known for its craftsmanship and enjoy the best sound quality at all times. In this case, it’s best to go with companies that have been in business for decades.