woman doing exercise - dumbbells in hands.

You know the importance of exercise in helping you tone down or make the body feel better. However, when thinking of full-body workout exercises, do you think about your eyes? Probably not, and you’re not alone. So with that in mind, today I’m answering the question, “does exercise keep your vision healthy?” Read on to see what I’ve found out. 

Does Exercise Keep Your Vision Healthy?

You probably haven’t heard about the correlation between exercise and vision before. Fortunately, by reading this, you’ll understand how physical exercise promotes good vision and eye health. 

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What is Eye Health?

The eyes play a role in body functions, mobility, and enjoyment of life. When their health is compromised, they inhibit these factors and reduce the quality of life. This is why it’s essential to maintain proper ocular health, referring to the eye and its organ system.

The primary task of the eye is to capture light. The various parts work in harmony to connect with neurons that transmit messages and images to the brain. When they’re not at their optimal health, you experience problems like short-sightedness, blurry vision, eyestrain, or dry eyes. Good ocular health means that your vision is 20/20 or better without correction.

Some corrective measures include the use of eyeglasses to balance sight and maintain good vision. Optometrists at https://www.eyeglasses.com/ can give you a prescription based on the diagnosis of the condition of your eyes.

Consider getting a comprehensive eye exam every year even if you have no eye problem. You might be surprised to realize that you can see better with corrective lenses or glasses. Besides, most serious eye illnesses don’t exhibit any noticeable signs.

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Physical Exercise and EyeSight

Over the last ten years, there have been several studies that show the connection between regular exercise eyesight. They show that physical workouts help in reducing common eye ailments like glaucoma and cataracts. They also significantly reduce wet age-related macular degeneration.

Aerobics and exercises like the Pilates are incredibly helpful in lowering intraocular pressure in the eyes. This helps to keep the cells in the retinal ganglion in good shape and well protected. Cardio exercises also increase blood flow to the retina and optic nerve.

Due to these effects, physical exercise can help improve overall eye health and vision. Exercise is especially beneficial to people with glaucoma.

Problems with your vision and some eye disease can also stem from high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Having a healthy diet and a regular workout program are two crucial steps you can take to lower both.  

While visual impairment increases with age the world over, you can boost your eye health through exercise. Running or walking is essential in helping decrease the risk of age-related cataracts.

senior woman exercising at home.

If you don’t prefer walking, consider swimming, bike-riding, dancing, jogging, or a flight up and down the stairs. You can also consider engaging in exercises that make you stretch. While they might target a particular body part, the effects will trickle to the whole body. The idea here is to get on the move and avoid being too idle. You’ll not only help your eyes but improve your general health as well.

If you exercise two or three times a week, you reduce the likelihood of developing wet age-related macular degeneration. Moderately intense, low-impact exercises significantly minimize eye pressure, especially in the young generation. 

Ensure you make time for exercise every week. People claim to be short on time to exercise, but with discipline and dedication, you can work out 3-5 times a week. 

Exercises for the Eyes

As you pick out exercises for your body, you also need a routine for your eyes. Here are some eye-specific exercises you can do daily. 

Flexing

This will stretch and strengthen the ocular muscles in the eye. Look straight ahead of you and then look up without moving your head. Look down while maintaining the same head position and repeat ten times.

 Next, look to the right and left without turning the head. Do this ten times and feel the difference it makes for tired eyes. 

Blinking

Blinking is a great exercise that reduces strain on the eyes. Often when working on a computer, it’s easy to forget to blink. Some benefits of blinking are that it keeps the eyes refreshed for longer. You’ll also be able to focus for longer. Look forward and blink in intervals of five minutes for two minutes. 

Focus Change

This exercise will challenge your attention and should be done in a sitting position. Stretch out your finger and hold it a few inches from the eye. Look at the finger and focus on it only. Slowly move the finger away from the face, maintain your eye focus.

Portrait of happy beautiful young woman in glasses sitting in cafe

Then look away for a moment and gaze into the distance. Look at the outstretched finger again, focus on it and bring it back to the eye. Look out at something in the space. Repeat this three to five times.

Another focus exercise entails picking something 10 feet away with the eyes. Focus on it for five seconds then trace a figure eight with the eyes. The figure is imaginary but helps your eyes develop focus and strength. Trace for 30 seconds before changing the direction of your eyes. 

Palming

Palming is a yoga technique used to soothe the eyes. It’s a good exercise for people who spend most of their time behind computer screens for long. The exercise helps relieve pressure and strain around the eyes. So when wondering does exercise keep your vision healthy, you can count this exercise too. 

To perform the exercise, sit on a chair with your eyes closed. Place both of your hands over your eyes, covering them with the palm. The fingers should be on the forehead while the base of the palms should rest on your cheekbone.

Check that you don’t apply too much pressure on the eyes and that you can blink freely. Do the exercise for two minutes and repeat as necessary. 

Zooming

Zooming is excellent for focus and strengthening the eye muscles. For the exercise, sit comfortably and stretch out one arm. Raise your thumb in the hitchhiker’s position. Focusing on the thumb, draw it in until it is three inches away from the face.  Keep your eyes focused on the thumb.

 Slowly move the thumb and forearm back to the first position. Repeat over and again for two minutes.

Protecting Your Eye Health

In addition to exercising your body and eyes to promote good health, you also should take precautionary measures. If you’re on prescription lenses or contacts, ensure they’re up to date and designed for the computer screen.

Avoid buying lenses that you buy without a prescription. They can further compound eye disease or increase discomfort, eye strain and headaches. They may also contribute to injuries to eye injuries due to lack of safe vision.

Pretty woman in glasses learning book in library. Female person in reading room, library. Researching does exercise keep your vision healthy

Check Your Posture

When working on the screen, always ensure your eyes are level with the top of the screen. This way, you look at the screen at a slightly downward angle. Also, ensure the chair you use is comfortable and supportive so that your feet are flat on the floor. 

Anti-Glare

Avoid glare from lights and windows at all costs. Always use anti-glare whenever possible.  If your eyes feel dry, feel like they’re straining, or blink more than necessary, talk to your doctor.

Rest

Most importantly, rest your eyes every 20-30 minutes. Gaze into the distance for 20 seconds and take a break from work every two hours. Remember to exercise the 20-20-20 rule. If you’re behind a screen the whole day, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

Eat Well

The health of your eyes starts with the food you eat. Some useful nutrients in warding off age-related vision problems include lutein, zinc, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin C and E also help in preventing macular degeneration and the growth of cataracts. So when wondering, does exercise keep your vision healthy? This alongside with other activities are the way forward.

As such, ensure your meals have green leafy vegetables, oily fish, eggs, beans, oranges, oysters, and pork. A well-balanced diet will also help you maintain a healthy weight, lowering obesity which is a leading cause of blindness.

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Use Sunglasses

A good pair of shades will protect your delicate eyes from UV rays that are responsible for cataracts and macular degeneration. Go for a product that blocks as much as 99% of UVA and UVB rays. You may also opt for wraparound lenses that protect your eyes from the side.

Remember that polarized lenses don’t necessarily offer added protection, but they reduce glare. You may also need to use sunglasses even if you have contact lenses.

Quit Smoking

Smoking increases the probability of getting cataracts, damages your optic nerve, and causes macular degeneration. If you’ve tried kicking the habit without much success, ask your doctor for help.

Final Thoughts

If you previously didn’t give much thought to the correlation between exercise and eye health, you’re now wiser. As you engage in light or intense physical activities, you also help your eyes stay at their best. When not working out the whole body, there are eye-specific exercises that can help. 

So in answer to the question, does exercise keep your vision healthy? I think we know the answer now. In addition to an exercise regime, remember to have your eyes checked by a professional. Eat a balanced meal every time, protect your eyes from glaring light, and get enough rest.