It’s safe to say most people appreciate the company of music while running. Some blast a playlist through their earbuds, lighting a fire throughout their muscles. Others value softer music that enhances the serenity of a mid-morning run around the neighborhood. Regardless of musical taste, the distractive nature of a song can result in a lack of awareness and an increased vulnerability to hazards on your run.

Obviously, running without listening to music is a simple solution for increasing general awareness, though this does come with its downsides as well. Music serves as a diversion from the fatigue of aching muscles, allowing for runners to challenge their own perception of their body’s limits without even realizing it! Of course, music will also serve as a distraction from the surrounding environment, impairing your hearing to the point that a vehicle or potential attacker can sneak up on you. If you absolutely cannot exercise without your favorite tunes and are confident in your self-defense capabilities, low-volume music is a solution that somewhat satisfies both sides of the coin.