Should You Be Wearing Headphones While Exercising?
This is a very controversial topic because a lot of people say that when you exercise with headphones on, you enter your own little world. You get to hear auditory stimuli that will help you keep your mind off the physically grueling thing that you should be doing.
Let’s get real here for a second. Most people who exercise are simply not all that excited about exercising. It’s just something that they have to go through. The next time you go to the gym, ask the guy on the elliptical whether he looks forward to using the elliptical. The average answer you would get, I would guarantee, is no.
This is something they just have to do because they’re looking for a certain outcome. It’s the outcome that they actually desire. If they have to get on an elliptical so they can burn that nasty ring of fat in their midsection, well so be it.
But if you were to ask them if there’s no incentive at the end of that process, they probably would think you’re crazy. They probably would say, “Who would put themselves through that ordeal? This is a punishment!” A lot of people look at exercising as essentially a pain in the butt.
In this context, it makes a lot of sense to use something that would distract your mind from the inconvenience or flat out discomfort that you’re feeling while you’re exercising. This is where headphones come in.
The great thing about headphones is that it’s very versatile and flexible in terms of content. You don’t necessarily have to listen to music. You don’t necessarily have to listen to electronic dance music or rapid beats that are often associated with motivational music. You don’t have to do that.
Experience your own world
From my own personal experience, when I wear headphones, I listen to audio books. The great thing about audio books is you can listen to all sorts of genres. One day, you could be listening to classic literature like The Odyssey or the Iliad by Homer. The next day, you could be listening to an audio book based on Shakespeare’s work.
And then the day after that, you could listen to an economics book or a political commentary. There’s just so many directions you can go. This really enables people to enter many different worlds. Like today, you may be listening to an audio book based on a novel by Dostoyevsky.
Just in case you’re unaware, Dostoyevsky is one of the best novelists in the world and he is Russian. He just creates some psychologically complicated and spiritually deep and nuanced work that not just resonates in the 1800’s but to this very day.
In fact, a lot of the themes that he’s talking about is actually permanent as far as the human condition goes. And then you can listen to philosophy after that. And believe me, if you listen to Voltaire or Nietzsche or Kant, your mind is blown.
Also, there’s a good chance that you can become the smartest person in the room. In other words, when you’re working out, not only are you investing time, effort and energy in building up your body, making sure you’re trim and slim and good looking. But you’re also investing in your mind.
There are, of course, many things you can invest your resources in. The good news is that whatever you invest your time in grows. For example, if you invest time and focus on your finances, chances are you wiould end up making better financial decisions and you can retire with a nice little nest egg.
I don’t know about you, but if I was to choose, I would choose my mind. Why? The body fades. The body gets ugly over time. It gets flabby, it develops wrinkles, it ages and eventually dies. Finance are not any better. Whatever money you’ve saved up will always be threatened by inflation. But the mind is something else.
It’s something that grows in value over time. But the key is you have to challenge it and one of the best ways to do that is to use headphones while running and listening to stuff that you’re normally not interested in. That is the main challenge because it’s very easy to just digest intellectual “candy”.
For example, if you like reading fashion magazines or pop culture blogs, it’s very easy to get stuck in that ride. It’s very easy to read at that level. Well, when you mix things up and you read classical Greek literature as well as mythology, religion, spiritually, economics, politics and so on and so forth, you make your mind work out.
You blast it out of its comfort zones and it becomes stronger. Just as you develop physical muscles, your mind is also a muscle. Unfortunately, just like with physical muscles, the worst thing you can do is to not challenge it because what happens when you fail to challenge your muscles?
Maybe you stopped working out. Maybe you got sick or you got injured and you, for whatever reason, can not hit the gym. That’s right. Your muscles start to get softer, smaller and weaker. And before you know it, you’re back to square one.
The same applies to your mind. Whatever resistance you may feel, you may be thinking, “Well I can understand that. That’s just way above my head.” Well, that’s just an illusion. Those are just arbitrary boundaries that you set around yourself.
Because at the end of the day, regardless of your IQ, there is a lot of room for improvement. Sure, if your IQ is 110 or below, then there’s only so much space you can move. But I can guarantee you, the way you’re currently using your mind is probably going to be way below your fullest potential.
So, if your IQ is 110, read a lot. Analyze the stuff that you have listened through audio books and pair it to the stuff that you’ve read and give your mind a workout. That’s the best favor you can do yourself. It also makes you a whole lot more interesting person.