Protecting yourself from the sun involves more than greasing down with sunscreen (which you ARE doing, right?). Your peepers play a big part of your daily run, and to be honest, until three days ago I was paying them no mind. Running blind to the matter, if you will! Don’t take the health of your eyes for granted.
Here’s the deal: If you’re not protecting your eyes from the sun AND its reflection, you’re setting yourself up for eye damage. Top risk factors for cataracts include age (over 50), blue eyes, blonde hair, smoking, poor nutrition, diabetes, working outdoors, and not wearing UVA-UVB eye protection.
At first glance (pardon the pun), you may fit into a couple categories but consider yourself protected because you wear a cap. But it’s not just the sun you need to be worried about, but the powerful glare off every car you pass, any body of water, and the road itself. The brim of your hat does no good when the harm is coming from below.
Sunglasses are an easy fix (and who doesn’t look even more hardcore running in sporty shades?) – I got my first pair a few days ago and now feel naked even driving without them (I assure you, that’s not truly the case) – most sunglasses offer UVA-UVB protection, but to thwart the blunt of the glare, go for a pair that are polarized, which means they eliminate the reflection off the sun.
While its main focus of this article is water polarization, I found the Myths and Truths about Polarized Sun an AWESOME, easy, short and informative must-read. The cool thing about polarized sunglasses, is that you really DO see more when reflections are out of the way.
Polarized sunglasses generally fall in the price range of $30-more than $178, though price doesn’t always mean the sunglasses are a better fit for you. The cheaper ones usually have a polarized coat, while the more expensive ones are polarized through and through. This simply means that if you get a scratch in the coated ones, it will affect your vision through the lens; whereas with full polarized lenses, the scratch won’t make much of a difference. I know me, and that if I spend more than $30 on a pair I’ll quickly lose them – and until I get used to actually running in them, I settled for a $30 pair.
Try on several pairs, several brands, and find some that are light but that sit snugly on your nose (and of course make you look like a road rockstar). You don’t want them leaving dents on the bridge of your nose, nor do you want them blowing off your face when you round a corner.
A few recommends:
Maui Jims – on the higher end of the price range but have great quality and incredible warranty
Oakley is a timeless given and they have a great athletic look
I went with Peppers, which are on the low end of the price range, but I have no complaints as of yet!
Of course all your big brands like Nike are going to carry athletic sunglasses, as well as a few others you may be unfamiliar with, like Ryders Endorphine Polarized and Optic Nerve Eyeque - so shop around!
1. Eliminate processed foods. Remove all omega-6 oils (corn, safflower, sunflower, canola, soybean and peanut oils), trans-fatty acids (partially hydrogenated oils and many hydrogenated oils), excess sugar, fructose, monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame, hydrolyzed proteins, and soy proteins from your diet.
2. Eat five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day (preferably organic). They should include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, red cabbage, cauliflower, and kale.
3. Add supplements to your diet. Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement that contains all essential vitamins and minerals but does not contain iron, which is a powerful generator of free radicals. Take 1,000 mg of vitamin C (buffered as calcium and/or magnesium ascorbate) three times a day between meals.
In addition, take two 20 mg capsules of lutein daily, 25,000 IU of mixed carotenoids, 500 mg of riboflavin, 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin E, and 160 mg of bilberry each day with food. Also, use N-acetylacarnosine eye drops.