I’ve had a few friends ask me about my Apple AirPods.
Can I wear them during exercise? Will they fall out? Can I wear them outside on a long run?
Well it’s been well documented that they are actually pretty good to wear while running, and I have been able to validate that for myself – to a certain extent anyways – I wore them while running on a treadmill for 60 minutes. I’ve done it a few times now and they’ve been vigorous runs – including “balls to the wall” sprints to get some interval training in.
But here are the important things to know:
- It’s easy to bump them out if you’re not careful. I did pop mine out once (fortunately they just bounced onto carpet nearby) because I forgot they were there and I was not careful toweling the sweat from my head.
- If you sweat a lot (or any decent amount) then you’ll need a strategy for trying to keep the ear area dry. The wetter your ears get, the more likely that your AirPods will slide out.
- If you’re working out hard, don’t even bother with Siri to change songs. She never understands what I’m saying when I’m winded. Works great for the first few minutes and then after that I may as well be speaking (or grunting) an alien language.
Here are some tips to help you protect your expensive AirPods while you exercise.
- Bunch up your towel vertically (so it’s narrow and long) and use it to dab at your sweat, steering clear of your ears. It doesn’t look manly. But it will keep the ends of the towel swiping at your AirPods, which has happened to me.
- For your ears, flatten the towel against the palm of your hand and push against the side of your head – so that the AirPods are pushed further in to your ears. Pat the sweat dry from above your ears with your towel where your finger tips are. When you’re done, give your ears one more gentle push with your palms and that should help to secure your AirPods once more.
- If you sweat profusely, you’ll probably need to take them out (one by one, of course) and pat your ear/head dry and then re-insert the AirPods. This will take great concentration since the AirPods are small. Here’s the important part: grab them by the bottom of the stems. Anywhere near the top will be harder to grab while running, and possibly damp with sweat. If you can take a quick pause, then do that.
If you already have AirPods, some of this may seem very obvious to you. But if you’ve been on the fence about buying them or if you were nervous to wear them during exercise, then these tips should help you get over your concerns. They’re also good reminders that you’ll need to practice some awareness in order to accidently pop them out while coming off a hard sprint and instinctively wiping at your sweaty head with a towel.
So, get out there and run! Fitness is the first step to greatness, as Justin Kan – well known Silicon Valley startup founder and VC – often says.
BTW, if you’re exercising in order to create more discipline in your work life and to become a more productive person in general, you should check out my post on Medium called “How I adopted a 5am morning routine and then learned to love it”
One more thing: What music are you listening to on your AirPods (or other headphones) during exercise? What gets the adrenaline flowing and keeps you going especially when you feel like giving up? Leave a comment below and let me know. Would love to hear about what music inspires you!