June 30, 2015

The Importance of Eye Protection & Fitness

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Vision Council. I received complimentary product from The Vision Council in exchange for attending their webinar and raising awareness of eye health.  

I like to think of myself as someone who tries to be healthy in all aspects of my life. As a fair-skinned gal, I've always had to watch myself in the sun and have had regular dermatologist visits since I was 11 after finding some abnormal moles on my skin.  Especially in recent years, I've become more vigilant about applying sunscreen and protecting myself in the sun. Now that it's summer, I've been doing a pretty good job of slathering on some sunscreen on my body as well as my face before running outside. 

However I've been less thoughtful about protecting my eyes, not just my skin from UV damage.  I love wearing sunglasses and always buy a few cheap, fun pairs to wear when the weather warms up but infrequently consider wearing them as protection instead of comfort. I usually just rely on the UV protection in my contact lenses. Recently I had the opportunity to attend a webinar from The Vision Council to raise awareness about the harmful effects of UV exposure and eye health led by Dr. Justin Bazan.  While is a sponsored post, I truly think this information is important to share and important to know. 

While most people like me think about comfort, style, and affordability when it comes to choosing sunglasses, we also should be mindful of UV protection they offer. Not all shades have UV protection or are as reliable as advertised (they usually have a little sticker saying they are UV protective) so Dr. Bazan suggested bringing them to your optometrist (eye doctor) to be checked for UVA/UVB protection if you are unsure. 

Rocking some cheapie sunglasses on my run
While maybe you are more likely to grab a pair of shades or a hat in the summer time when the sun is stronger, Dr. Bazan stressed the importance of UV protection year round. 

2 out of 3 Americans aren't wearing sunglasses when it is cloudy or rainy.

 Sunglasses not only are like sunblock for your eyes when it's sunny, but also offer UV protection when it is cloudy or darker out. I know I am far less likely to reach for my sunglasses when it isn't bright out. Ice and water are major reflectors of UV rays which is just as harmful whether it's warm or cold out. 


Besides short term effects such as irritation & redness, there are serious long-term effects of UV-related eye damage such as cataracts, premature aging of the skin around the eyes, and macular degeneration. Yikes!

The biggest surprise from the webinar was the most dangerous times of UV levels. I have it drilled in my head that midday around noon was the most dangerous time. According the research from The Vision Council, eyes receive 2x the amount of UV radiation during the early morning  and late afternoon as it does during the midday, as seen in the graphic above.  

Warmer weather means everyone is spending time outside as well as working out and running outdoors so UV protection including for your eyes is key! The graphic below shoes where Americans are wearing sunglasses. I was surprised to learn that 70% of fitness enthusiasts such as runners & cyclists are not wearing sunglasses when they are running or biking outside! 

We can eat chia seeds, take care of our bodies, and wear all sorts of gear but don't wear our sunglasses outside?!

I hope you'll think twice before heading out the door, I know I will! As someone with blue eyes, I may be more susceptible to UV damage because of the decreased melanin I have. 

Last Saturday 6/27 was National Sunglasses Day so you might have seen some information about eye health floating around. I'm happy to be rocking the new Optic Nerve polarized shades that the Vision Council sent me, so I know that my eyes will be UV protected on my summer runs.  

Be sure to wear your favorite pair of sunglasses frequently (or treat yourself to a new pair that offers UV protection!) this summer and all year round!

Do you wear sunglasses when working out outdoors? Do you have a favorite pair of sunglasses? 

This post was linked up with Wild Workout Wednesdays and Tip Tuesday


  1. What an eye opener, no pun intended! I had no idea that 8-10 am and 2-4 pm were the worst times of the day for UV exposure to your eyes. I wear eyeglasses when I run, thankfully they are UV protected. Great post!

    1. Glad you learned that too! I wear contacts but definitely am adding the extra protection of sunglasses now.

  2. I never leave for a run without my sunglasses, rain or shine! It is more of a habit but nice to have that protection...my eyes are already in pretty bad shape vision wise :P

    1. That's awesome that you already do that! Haha yeah I go to the eye doctor so I want to take care of my eyes too!

  3. I love these tips. I have always been aware of protecting my eyes. In fact, I have more sunglasses than running shoes. It always bothers me when people think it is only a matter of fashion.
    I did not know most of the information you shared though.
    Awesome addition to #TipTuesday.
    Thank you very much!

  4. I know how UV rays can damage our eyes, but I didn't know in a small walk it can damage your sight. It is mandatory to wear sunglasses, not only for fashion but for your eye protection.
    Sunglasses for sale Philippines be ready cause I will buy you!