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Can regular exercise keep your vision healthy?

You know that exercise is good for you — for toning up or slimming down, or for just generally staying healthy and feeling better. You may not know, however, that getting plenty of exercise also may help preserve your vision.

A healthy diet and regular exercise are two of the most important steps you can take to lower both.

Physical exercise is good for your eyes

Several studies over the last 10 years have found connections between regular exercise and reducing risks for several common eye ailments such as cataracts, wet age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Cardiovascular exercises such as aerobics will lower intraocular pressure, which is pressure in your eyes, and that helps to keep the retinal ganglion cells protected. Cardio exercise also increases the flow of blood to the optic nerve and the retina. Because of these effects, overall eye health and vision can be improved, but it’s especially beneficial to people with glaucoma.

Vision problems and eye disease also stem from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A healthy diet and regular exercise are two of the most important steps you can take to lower both.

Get out there and get active

Taking advantage of the benefits that cardio workouts have on your vision and eyes doesn’t require large amounts of time to exercising. Something as simple as a brisk 20-minute walk in the park four times a week will increase your pulse by as much as 25 percent.

If walking isn’t for you, consider doing something else that increases your blood flow, such as bike riding, swimming, running, dancing, jogging up and down a flight of stairs, and so many other things. No matter what the activity is that you choose to do, you will not only be benefitting your eyes and vision, but you’ll be strengthening your heart health, too.

So, in a nutshell… What can you do?

  1. Visit your eye doctor regularly. Work with your eye doctor to schedule checkups every year or two and make sure you have the right prescription for your glasses.
  2. Make exercise a priority. This is especially important in light of research from the last 10 years that shows exercise is associated with decreased risks for certain eye conditions, as well as offering other surprising benefits.


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