Deaf to Danger: The Perils of Earbuds

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Please Don't Stop the Music

If the thought of running without Cee Lo, Usher, or Bono wipes out your motivation to lace up, use these strategies so you can tune in without completely tuning out.

Make a Playlist

Hit play before you start moving and don't touch your iPod again. Fussing with your music removes yet another sense--sight--which makes things even more dangerous. If you need to make a quick adjustment (Katy Perry…again?), stop moving.

Upgrade Your Earphones

Many women run with one earphone in their ear and the other tucked under a bra strap, thinking it's safer than using both buds. But that's not the case, since the brain relies on both ears to determine which direction a noise is coming from. A solution: Auria earphones ($20 to $60, auria .com). They sit on the outer part of your ear without blocking your ear canal, so you can still hear ambient noises.

Use As Needed

You can get a rush from a song or playlist the first few times you queue it up. But listen too often and you can become desensitized to it, says sport psychologist Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D. Try using music only for the most challenging parts of your workout. Karageorghis recommends songs with 120 to 145 beats per minute (BPM).

"The level of stimulation this range provides creates just the right degree of arousal," he says.

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More from Women's Health:

101 Greatest running tips

21 Ways to make fitness fun

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Health Boosters You Can Do Now

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