Q: I tend to increase the volume of my music as my workout moves along. When does loud become too loud? –—Devin S., San Jose, CA
A: We’re all for workout soundtracks; research actually shows that upbeat rhythms help improve your mood and distract you, which helps you exercise longer and harder. But while it’s tempting to blare tunes, Brian Fligor, Sc. D., chief audiologist at Lantos Technologies in Wakefield, MA, suggests keeping your exercise playlist “no louder than 80% of maximum volume for no longer than 90 minutes per day—what we call the ‘80-for-90 Rule.’” If your ears are ringing post-workout, you’ve exceeded that limit. Fligor recommends investing in a good pair of noise-reduction headphones, so you’re less tempted to jack up the decibels in your noisy gym.
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