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Six simple steps to working out in lenses

Whether you're into hiking, biking, jogging or yoga, contact lenses give you complete freedom to focus on your favourite sport. Unlike glasses, they won’t slip down your nose or obstruct your peripheral vision, nor will they fog up or get splattered by the rain or sweat (if you’re working out really hard!). 

Better yet, all it takes is a few super simple steps to keep your contacts clean and comfy during a workout. The next time you lace up your gym shoes, consider these easy tips...

How to exercise safely in contacts 

Keep it clean

It’s super important to be diligent about lens hygiene, especially after coming into contact with dirt and sweat. Always wash your hands before touching your lenses to minimise the risk of nasty bacteria entering your eye and causing infection. If clean water and soap are not readily available, carry hand sanitiser or wet wipes, but be sure to choose natural-based products without harsh chemicals such as Triclosan. If you do use hand sanitiser, we recommend waiting a few minutes before touching your eye. 

Carry back-ups 

It’s a good idea to refresh your lenses after a workout. Dailies can simply be replaced with a fresh pair. If you wear monthlies, you’ll need to clean your lenses with a solution before reapplying them. This eliminates the risk of exposing your eyes to harmful bacteria that may have attached to your contacts during exercise. If you’re planning to go the distance, it’s handy to carry a small pouch packed with backup lenses, cleaning solution and eye drops just in case. 

Switch to Dailies

If you have an active lifestyle and find cleaning your monthlies a hassle, consider switching to dailies. Comfy and convenient, you can simply remove and discard the lens at the end of your workout, without the fuss of cleaning or carrying solution. Easy. 

Stay hydrated 

Our eyes need tears to stay healthy. When the body is dehydrated, our eyes can become dry and sore – a common condition called “dry eye.” Sweat trickling into the eyes can cause further irritation. 

Keep artificial tears (lubricating eye drops) on hand to help soothe dry eyes and wash away any dirt or irritants. Drinking plenty of water before a workout will help flush the salt out of your body and keep your eyes hydrated. And if sweat is stinging your eyes, try wearing an absorbent headband. 

Stay sun smart

We all know that protecting our skin against the sun is a given. But many of us don’t realise our eyes are also susceptible to sun damage. Extended exposure to sunlight without eye-protection can increase the risk of developing eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataracts, in the future 

If you regularly workout outside, or exercise for extended periods of time, you should protect your eyes with a solid pair of shades. Just look for the CE mark and you’ll know if your sunnies meet EU safety standards. Lots of contact lenses have UV filters, and though they’re not a substitute for sunglasses, they offer extra protection. 

Skip the dip

If you’ve been wearing lenses for a while, you’ll probably have heard the rule of three S’s: don’t sleep, shower or swim in your lenses. Why? Because exposing your lenses to any type of water, including tap water, swimming pools, hot tubs, and the ocean, can cause discomfort and even infection. 

Prescription goggles are a great alternative, or if your sight doesn’t need a great deal of correction, simply remove your lenses before taking a dip. 

Want more on eye health? Head over to our Vision Hub, packed with expert advice on everything from caring for your contacts to keeping your eyes safe in the sun.