Getting yourself out of the house for a run during winter is hard. With the icy temps and gale-force winds, it’s enough to make you start tearing up – literally.
Those of us who’ve experienced the cheek-streaking, eye-stinging tears that well up during a chilly winter run know it’s something that can’t be controlled. Turns out, it’s actually a natural reaction to lack of humidity in the air.
Although you might think of tears as something typically brought on by a viewing of The Notebook, in actual fact, your eyes are constantly producing tears to keep your peepers lubricated. These spread across the eye each time you blink and naturally drain through tear ducts – but some conditions (Antarctic winds, we’re looking at you) can cause excessive tear production.
So, how can you dedicated die-hards avoid getting teary on your next run, outdoor boot camp or morning walk? Follow these tips.
Remember to blink
Well duh, WF! We do that automatically. Okay, okay – but did you know that when you’re focused during exercise you actually tend to blink a lot less? As blinking helps to keep your eyes lubricated, make a conscious effort to flutter those lashes. It will help to prevent the sting of welling up.
Get to warmer places
Aggressive eye watering is a full-on offensive against dry air, so if you can’t afford to get away to a tropical island this winter, you may want to consider moving your run or training session indoors on particularly cold or windy days. Sure, a treadmill might not be as exciting as your fave running track but the humidity inside the gym will protect your eyes.
Put your shades on
When you feel the wind whipping through your hair, put on some shades. Sure, it might be gloomy outside, but sunglasses – especially those of the wraparound variety – will shield your eyes from the wind and keep the tears at bay.
Drop it like it’s hot
We’re talking about eye drops. Use them before or after a run to soothe sore eyes.