How to Make Exercising in Glasses Less of an Annoyance

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Workout clothes? Check. Running shoes? Got 'em. Water bottle? Filled and ready to hydrate.

And if you need a little help in the vision department, eyeglasses might also be on your gym bag checklist. But while they might make it easier to see the treadmill monitor or your Zumba instructor's demonstrations, frames and lenses aren't exactly conducive to a hard-core sweat session.
Keith Wallace, a certified yoga instructor and a running coach with the Road Runners Club of America, has been working out with glasses all his life. "The biggest annoyance is probably having your glasses continuously slip down your nose due to sweat," he said. "Pushing your glasses up every minute during a four-hour marathon is a real pain."
Jumping or other high-impact moves can also be disruptive if you're wearing frames. "Anyone who wears glasses knows burpees are basically off limits," notes Caleb Backe, certified personal trainer and health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. "Anytime you're really going all out during a workout, there's a high chance your glasses will just fly off altogether."

And, of course, there's the cleanliness factor, as glasses will need to be wiped clean of sweat and salt residue after exercise.
But as annoying as they can be, it might not be an option to simply scrap the specs before hitting the gym or the pavement. Whether you're lifting weights, hopping on the elliptical or taking a spin class, blurry vision could compromise the effectiveness and safety of your workout. And if you're part of a sports team, your performance could be affected by limited vision.
"If you need your glasses and really struggle to see without them, you shouldn't be taking them off for your workout," Backe says. "Unless you're doing a low-impact workout like yoga, your eyes are a necessary component to ensure balance, avoid dangers and just keep your general wits about you while you exercise."         
Now for the good news: With these expert-recommended tips, you can still enjoy crystal-clear eyesight without pausing mid-step or mid-rep to adjust your glasses.

Secure them with a strap.

The quickest and most hassle-effective way to secure your eyeglasses is to use a strap that goes around the back of your head and holds them in place. "If you have plastic frames or experience slipping with rubber nose pads, then use a simple eyeglasses cord strap and cinch the adjustment clasp tight to the back of your head," Wallace suggests. "This will keep the glasses from sliding down your nose."

Wax on, wax off.

Backe points out there are special waxes that can be applied to the nose piece of your glasses to reduce slippage during your workout. "It might need to be reapplied mid-workout, but that's a small price to pay to avoid the inconvenience that wearing glasses during your workout entails," he says.

Purchase dedicated workout glasses.

For complete peace of mind, you might consider purchasing a pair of sport glasses with prescription lenses. Many eyewear companies also offer activewear frames, which are designed to stay comfortably in place so you can see clearly and move safely during even the most grueling physical activity. Typically made from more rugged materials that can withstand heavy impact, they can also help cut down on glare, which is especially helpful when biking, running or walking outside in the sun.
Michael Chernich, senior director of eye care for Pearle Vision and a doctor of optometry, recommends looking for plastic instead of metal frames, because they are hypoallergenic and won't irritate your skin and hair, and are also much easier to clean.  
"Think about when someone gets really involved or interested in working out, and the investment they willingly make in good yoga pants or CrossFit shoes," he says. "Why would you not make that level of investment in activewear eyeglasses?"

Try contact lenses.

If your goal is to forego the frames altogether, one option is to switch to contact lenses for exercise, which will solve both the comfort and cleanliness issues, Dr. Chernich notes.
"The preferred choice would be to use single-use lenses, which are available from all major contact lens manufacturers," he suggests. "Even for people who regularly wear contacts, it's a good idea to have a small supply of single-use lenses for hiking, biking or gym workouts. That way, you can remove them immediately after working out and won't have to worry about carrying solution and a case to the gym."
One caveat to watch out for with contacts: Be sure to keep your eyes moisturized to prevent dry eye. "When moving around a lot, especially in a room with the air conditioner blasting, your contacts can dry out and the eyes can become irritated," warns Alex Tran, a yoga and meditation instructor. If you are going the contact route, it's a good idea to toss some contact-safe moisturizing eye drops in your gym bag and apply as needed.
With a little foresight, you can start every workout with a clear vision of your goals and your gear—without being distracted by slipping specs.

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IVYLASS 4/19/2019
Give me a break. I've worn glasses ever since I was ten years old. I've never had a problem while working out, much less a "high chance" they will fly off while doing burpees. I've done burpees, run a 5K, taken spin classes, weightlifted, Zumba, Pound, and Boot Camp with NEVER a problem. Report
SHOAPIE 4/19/2019
Thanks Report
KHALIA2 4/19/2019
Thank you! Very informative. Report
DEBVNE 4/19/2019
Yes, I remember Coke bottle lenses. Ha! Holy they were heavy...along with frames of old. I’ve given up on contacts, and I need to wear my glasses when working out. Great suggestions on how to live with that. Nice tips in the comments for water sports and activities. Ultimately I have come to the realization I need my glasses cleaner available every single time. Report
HWNHMMBRD 4/19/2019
Who remembers the term "Coke Bottle Bottom Glasses"? That's been me since 5th grade. I lost glasses in the ocean, struggled with them slipping while playing softball, and generally hated them. Time passes and designs improve. I find that as long as I keep them maintained (take them in for regular adjustments, replace the nosepads) My glasses stay in place for the type of work outs I do. I do use contacts for water/beach activities along with a sport water goggle. (Larger than swimming goggles, but does not cover the nose like a dive mask) Report
KITTYHAWK1949 4/18/2019
I do water exercise and need to see the instructor as at times hard to hear but I trouble is water spots on my glasses as I exercise. Maybe will be addressed in a different article. Report
ARTJAC 4/18/2019
CACUJIN 4/18/2019
I just take them off when working out at that level. I don't need to see to do strength training. Report
VKKESU 4/18/2019
I switched to contacts when I started scuba diving because coming up and everything being blurry (hard to see contact boat) was a scary experience. It was the best thing I ever did. Now I can't imagine trying to do all my exercising and activities with glasses on. I do EVERYTHING now in contacts (going on 30 years) and I've never had an issue at all. Just keeping your dirty hands out of your eyes will keep you from ever having an eye issue. Always keep a tiny model of solution with you incase you forget and rub your eyes and knock a contact out. :)
CECTARR 4/18/2019
Really?! Report
PATRICIA-CR 4/18/2019
I love that SP is always with new practical ideas. Yeah! Thanks. Report
ERIN_POSCH 4/18/2019
thank you Report
LIS193 4/18/2019
thanks Report
AQUAGIRL08 4/18/2019
Thank you for all of the information! Report
NEPTUNE1939 4/18/2019
ty Report
AZMOMXTWO 4/18/2019
thank you Report
LEANJEAN6 4/18/2019
very informative Report
FERRETLOVER1 4/18/2019
I just recently started wearing glasses, so I truly appreciate this article! Report
PETALIA 4/18/2019
Originally, I stuck extra foam nose pads on my glasses to keep those two red pressure spots from appearing on my nose. They also work extremely well to keep my glasses from slipping. I practice in a hot yoga studio often; being upside-down and moving around whilst sweating buckets does not cause my glasses to slip. Silicone pads, for me, continued to leave red spots on the side of my nose but they prevent slippage mightly. The foam pads last several weeks before they start peeling off. Every couple of months, my optometrist tightens the stems of my glasses, too.
Contacts are a bad idea for swimming in the ocean. Your eyes can easily pick up bacteria. I use a pair of cheap glasses with a strap. Expensive, float-able frames exist for surfing if you want to go that route. Report
CHERYLHURT 4/18/2019
Contacts? Report
NASFKAB 4/18/2019
Glasses slip & fog up Report
NASFKAB 4/18/2019
Thank you have worried about this point have worn glasses for 67 years of my almost 77 Report
ZRIE014 4/17/2019
thanks Report
2DAWN4 4/16/2019
I am so glad that I stumbled across this article! Report
_CYNDY55_ 4/16/2019
Thanks Report
I'm fortunate that sometimes I'm able to work out without my glasses. Report
DIAMONDWIFE2018 4/16/2019
I live with my glasses when I am wearing them but prefer my contacts. Report
NANCYPAT1 4/16/2019
Thanks, my glasses are a bit of an annoyance when I am sweating Report
PICKIE98 4/16/2019
Smile and make it fun! Report
These articles are helpful even though they may not directly apply to one's self as they make us more cognizant of issues others may face. Thanks! Report
KHALIA2 4/16/2019
I wear glasses but use them only for reading. Thanks for some very good tips! Report
PETRA320 4/16/2019
good ideas, thanks Report
GABY1948 4/16/2019
Thanks Report
ROBBIEY 4/16/2019
Good ideas Report
RAPUNZEL53 4/16/2019
Thanks. Report
DMEYER4 4/16/2019
great info Report
Good information! Thank you! Report
JANIEWWJD 4/16/2019
I've never had problems exercising with glasses!!! Report
KATHYJO56 4/16/2019
Good ideas Report
ANHELIC 4/16/2019
Thanks for the information. I found it very informative. Report