The Importance of Sun Protection Before an Outdoor Workout

The Importance of Sun Protection

Disclosure: this post was sponsored by The Vision Council.  While I was compensated for writing it, all opinions - as always! - are my own.

Hey guys!  Today I'm talking about the need for sun protection before working out outside with the help of the awesome team at The Vision Council.  How many of you work out in the sun or participate in a lot of outdoor activities?  It's summer time - who doesn't love a nice sunny day at the beach, or by the pool?  Even walking in the park is nice.  (All of those places are GREAT for outdoor workouts, too.)  Are you doing everything you can to protect yourself while you're outside?  It's funny that I'm asking this, because when I was a kid, I remember always getting chided by my dad for not wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and even a hat.  Embarrassing side story: I remember one time when I was a junior in college, a guy was coming over to pick me up at my house (I lived at home).  Since we were going to be outside most of the day, my dad stopped me before getting in his car, and liberally applied sunscreen all over my arms and back, right in front of my date for the day.  (Thanks, Dad. =P)  

Embarrassing stories aside, my parents did instill in me the importance of sun protection and the need for sunscreen, especially because I'm SUPER pale (ahem, porcelain) and burn to a crisp in 5 seconds flat.  Sunglasses are also very important any time you're outside (even when it's cloudy!) - gotta protect those eyeballs!  Below are some important facts everyone should know when it comes to being in the sun outdoors, and especially when you're working out.

Reflected UV light is just as damaging as direct UV exposure.

 Image c/o The Vision Council

Image c/o The Vision Council

Be careful what hour(s) of the day you plan to do your workouts, and what areas you're working out in.  The early morning and late afternoon are the worst times for UV exposure.  Those times are pretty common for people to be outdoors working out or otherwise engaged, especially on weekends, so make sure you wear your shades with UV filters, especially if you're near a body of water, where UV reflection is greatest.

remember to use eye Protection During Outdoor activities like gardening and running.

 Image c/o The Vision Council

Image c/o The Vision Council

According to a poll taken by The Vision Council, it seems like the majority of adults are only wearing sunglasses when they're driving, taking a walk, or going to the beach.  There are so many other outdoor activities that might cause damage to your eyes if not protected.  Make sure you wear those sunglasses, even when it's cloudy!  Here are some facts on UV light exposure and its risks:

UV Radiation and its Short- and Long-Term Effects on the Eye

Image c/o The Vision Council

Most of us are more concerned with wrinkles, sunburns, and skin cancer, than we are about the short- and long-term effects of UV radiation exposure on vision itself.  UV exposure has damaging effects on our eyes as well, and it's actually a bit concerning how little attention is paid these effects and serious conditions.  

Short Term Effects: bloodshot, swollen, and extremely sensitive to light; Photokeratitis (aka Snow Blindness) - sunburn of the eye (ouch!).

Long-Term Effects: cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and various forms of cancer in or around the eye are all potential serious risks associated with long-term UV exposure.  Yikes!  Wear those UVA- and UVB-protective lenses!

What I'm Doing to Stay Sun-Safe:

 My Sun-Safe Swag Bag c/o The Vision Council.

My Sun-Safe Swag Bag c/o The Vision Council.

In addition to a great educational webinar, I also got this awesome swag bag from The Vision Council, which has pretty much everything I need to stay protected from the sun when I'm outside.  I have travel-sized sunscreen - very important for bright sunny days with my pale skin!  I also got a pair of Optic Nerve UVA & UVB filtered polarized sunglasses, which are a new fave.  My favorite piece of sun-safe swag, though, is the Chilly Pad cooling towel, which, when dampened a bit, stays cool to the touch for hours - a must-have after an outdoor workout in the sun! 

 Sunglasses and cooling towel - necessary during an outdoor workout!

Sunglasses and cooling towel - necessary during an outdoor workout!

Readers: chat with me!  How do you stay sun-safe when you're outside?  Do you enjoy outdoor workouts?  What are your favorite outdoor summer activities?