February is a busy but short month- it contains Black History month, the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, and the dreaded month after you made your New Year’s goals. Staying active is difficult but staying active with hearing aids is a whole other challenge. Let’s talk about why staying active is important and how to do with hearing aids.
Staying active is important everyone! Regular physical activity is linked to
- Reducing your risk of heart attack
- Managing your weight better
- Having a lower blood cholesterol level and blood pressure
- Lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Having stronger bones, muscles, and joints
- Better recovery from periods of hospitalization or bed rest
From individuals at risk of or with hearing loss regular physical activity:
- Lowering risk of falls
- Delays further hearing loss
Research from the University of Florida found “that routine cardio provides the necessary blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to maintain the health of important auditory systems within the cochlea”. By keeping your body actively moving, you allow your body the ability to fight off future issues. A common misconception we start to believe is that as we age, we should move around less to decrease our chances of falling. That is exactly the opposite of what we should do. We should continue to go on our walks, jogs, and runs to keep working our bodies, which is the correct way to decrease the risk of falling.
Talking about working out is the easy part! The hard part is actually doing it. Individuals who wear hearing devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants have challenges like deciding to wear their devices during physical activity and how to not ruin their devices with moisture. Major hearing aid manufacturer, Oticon, recommends wearing your hearing aids during your workouts. They explain four challenge areas, hearing aid users face when working out.
- Falling Out: With a lot of out-of-the-norm movement the hearing aids might start to fall out of place.
- If you have longer hair, putting your hair up might stop this problem as it decreases the chance of the aids getting tangled in hair
- Try using a headband. They can keep the aids in place or stop your hair from causing the aids to move
- Ask your audiologist or hearing care profession if they know of any accessories that can help you during your workout
- Batteries: No one wants their hearing aid batteries to die in the middle of a workout!
- If you use disposable batteries, it would be a good idea to have additional batteries on you
- Hearing aids now come rechargeable, so fully charging your hearing aid at night should allow you to have battery life throughout your workout and whole day
- Sweat: Getting your hearing aids wet during your workout is inevitable.
- Oticon and other hearing amplification manufacturers have created water-resistant devices
- The devices are not waterproof, but can withstand water and moisture
- Still do not take a shower or swim in your hearing devices!!!
- Post-workout Care: The most important part of working out with your hearing devices is cleaning them.
- After each workout – wipe off any moisture or debris
- Invest in a drying kit- this device takes the moisture out of your hearing aids
Overall working out is important no matter who you are. Do not let your hearing devices stop you from working out. If you or a loved one are having ear or hearing difficulty, please contact your local audiologist or hearing care professional today!