Let’s Get Physical: Exercise!

Nature has many gifts for your healthy vision. Here is another one: sports! Therefore, consider boosting your eye health by regularly working out. It not only can help you lose weight and, if you are overweight, prevent diabetes, but it also curbs harmful inflammation and improves blood flow in the body. This can impact blood circulations in the tiny blood vessels of your eyes, suggests the Vision Council, Alexandria, Virginia. Plus, new research shows that regular exercise increases the formation of new brain cells, even in advanced age, and may help prevent cognitive decline.

Doing exercise regularly is known to reduce the risk of different medical conditions such as metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. It reduces cognitive decline, the risk of dementia, as well as Parkinson´s and Alzheimer´s diseases. And it even has some beneficial effects on the retina. But the visually impaired tend to participating much less in sports and exercise than those without such ailments.

Preventing Visual Impairment

There is significant evidence linking obesity to several major eye diseases that cause blindness. The most prominent example is diabetic retinopathy, one of the most frequent diseases affecting the retina. Diabetes, which is most prevalent among those who are overweight, can produce serious damage to the retina and – in severe cases – may lead to total blindness.

So regular exercising is not only good for your eyesight, it also has many other positive effects on your health. It also makes you feel much better emotionally. The University of Hong Kong vision scientist Kwok-fai So, PhD, has shown in studies with laboratory rats that being forced to swim protects the aged optic nerve against intraocular pressure injury and reduces cell death in the retina of diabetic rats.

Here is the American Heart Association’s top ten tips to get more exercise:

  • Take your child for a brisk walk, or turn your walk into a scavenger hunt.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Walk around your local mall.
  • Participate in team sports.
  • Make it a habit to walk while you’re talking on the phone.
  • Walk, jog in place, or use a treadmill at the gym while watching your favorite thirty-minute TV show.
  • Park far away so you have a longer walk to your destination.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Start dancing.
  • Skip dessert and take a walk after dinner.
  • Go swimming.

Training Also at Home

We recommend our patients exercise regularly on a cross-trainer at home; this can strengthen their legs, arms, back as well as circulation. This kind of sport is independent of the weather and the patient with sight problems can avoid the danger of falling.