-by Maxx Antush
Spring has sprung, the days are growing longer, and strings of bright sunny days are on the horizon! As we all spend more time outdoors running and walking, it might be of interest to find fun ways to get a handle on how hard we are working. Being out in the sun can cause squinting, which could make your workouts feel harder. Let’s discuss why that might be!
Facial Expressions and Exertion
If you have ever paid attention to others working out, you may have noticed that you can often see how hard they are working by the look on their face. We often associate frowning or grimacing with pushing hard, while we usually assume that people who have a relaxed facial expression are feeling good and taking it easy. This perception was supported in a 2014 research study that found that an increase in facial muscle activity through frowning and jaw clenching was associated with an increase in heart rate, perceived exertion, and quadriceps muscle activity while cycling. When squinting due to bright light, like being outside on a sunny spring or summer day, the facial muscle engagement involves some of the same muscles that produce frowning and jaw clenching. So when running and walking outside on a sunny day, it is possible that if you are squinting, it might make you feel like you are working harder than you would like to be!
The best way to keep your face relaxed when running in the sun is with a great pair of sunglasses. Our favorites are Goodr running sunglasses! They’re durable, polarized, don’t bounce or slip and come in so many color combinations and styles. You will look just as awesome as you feel when you are blazing down the trail in the sun. J At just $25 to $35, they are a super affordable accessory to enhance your workout experience by reducing the squint. We have an ever revolving selection of Goodr sunglasses in the store or you can select your favorites online through our website!
Some days will be harder than others when you are out exercising in the sun. However, that effort does not need to be amplified by squinting. A pair of Goodrs will definitely make you look great and might just make you feel great too!
Editor’s note – We are consistently wowed by Maxx’s insights, wisdom and careful consideration. Maxx was selected for a WWU Outstanding Graduates Award after receiving his Master of Science degree in Kinesiology – Exercise Science!