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.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


CD26389854 9/11/2020
I never heard of nosepiece wax before, and will research buying it. Exercising with glasses on days with tired eyes. Daily disposable contact lenses are not an option for those of us with bifocal toric contacts. Report
KOHINOOR2 8/21/2020
Great article! Thanks. Report
The strap seems like the best option for me. Report
Great article. Thank goodness I do have the option for sometimes but darting and other cardio they are needed. Report
CKEYES1 7/28/2020
That's what I like about the treadmill. I don't need them Report
CHERYLHURT 6/10/2020
Great Report
NELLJONES 2/10/2020
I had to learn to do everything all over again when I started wearing glasses. Report
PATRICIA-CR 1/29/2020
Interesting. Report
LOSER05 1/28/2020
thanks Report
QUEENFROG 1/28/2020
The wax thing is something I didn't now about. Report
NEPTUNE1939 1/28/2020
ty Report
NANHBH 1/20/2020
I struggle with this. I finally went to the eye doctor & had them adjust my glasses. So much better now.
DEE107 1/1/2020
thanks Report
LIL-VIXEN 12/5/2019
Thank you for the information. I only wear glasses for reading on working on the computer. The information was very helpful anyway. Report
Thanks! Report
I wear glasses. I tried contacts for a while but had to go back to wearing glasses. There are some exercises I can wear my glasses and there are others that I have to take them off. I would prefer to wear my glasses when I run so I can see. But the problem is that I can't see when they keep bouncing up and down. I have thought about straps but I'm not sure how well they will work. I'm afraid it will be either too tight around my head or my nose. Then my friend suggests me to buy sports sunglasses. It is very comfortable. I bought the sunglasses from wholesale sunglasses(
tegory/unisex-sunglasses/) store.
Thank you for the information. Report
Excellent read. Good need-to-know information. Report
Great article Report
Thank you! Great information Report
I am fortunate that I can generally see well enough to work out without my glasses. However, for those that can't do so, I feel your pain. A little sweat and my glasses begin to slip. I leave mine in the car most days. Report
I wear glasses. I tried contacts for awhile, but had to go back to wearing glasses. There are some exercises I can wear my glasses and there are others that I have to take them off. I would prefer to wear my glasses when I run so I can see. But the problem is that I can't see when they keep bouncing up and down. I have thought about straps but I'm not sure how well they will work. I'm afraid it will be either too tight around my head or my nose. I have thought about trying to run without glasses. Glasses. You need them to see. But what good are they if you can't see with them on or they bounce up or down. I'm also afraid they will fall off or get broken. It's a dilemma! Report
contacs? Report
thanks Report
Hate that they fall off during a pump session. Report
Thanks for the share! I've never had a problem with my glasses but I learned something new here. Report
great information Report
very informative Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
I wanted to reread this article! Report
Thanks Report
I don't have an issue with my glasses and working out! But it was a great article to read Report
Are you kidding me? If you wear glasses- how could you not have figured out how to live your life with them?
Biggest challenge is triathlon - transitioning from water to the bikes
Goggles are prescription so good in the water.
But figuring out how to get to the bikes. Report
Glasses are just one more annoying thing about exercising. Find what works for you and forget it. Since I do most of my exercising in water, I can't wear my glasses. No big. Report
great information Report
Thanks Report
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
Thanks Report
Thank you! Very informative. Report
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
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
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
I just take them off when working out at that level. I don't need to see to do strength training. Report
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. :)
Really?! Report
I love that SP is always with new practical ideas. Yeah! Thanks. Report
thank you Report