Everyone knows how good exercise is for you – whether it’s for energy, weight loss/control, mental health or just a general feeling of well-being spiritually and emotionally, but did you know exercise is good for your eye health too? No, me neither (especially as I only started wearing glasses after starting running but that’s probably just an age thing and not an exercise thing) but Vision Direct do and they told me:
- your eyes receive the same benefit as the rest of your body when you exercise;
- there are connections between those who regularly exercise and a reduced chance of developing cataracts, wet aged-related macular degeneration and glaucoma;
- eye disease is linked to health problems such as high cholesterol levels, diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise limits these problems from happening;
- moderate physical exercise such as going for a walk three times a week has been known to lower your intraocular pressure (IOP) and improve blood flow to the retina and optic nerve;
- those who exercise regularly are 70% less likely to develop wet age-related macular degeneration compared to those who lead sedentary lifestyles;
- you don’t have to run a marathon to see the benefits. You can do low-impact exercise such as cycling, walking or climbing the stairs to improve your eye health.
Don’t rely on exercise to keep your eyes in good health though – remember to keep up to date with your eye tests with your optician as they’re not just there to check your vision and to see if you need new/any glasses: while they’re peering into your eyes and making you jump with that blowing-out-a-puff-of-air machine, they can see if there’s anything worth checking out further with your doctor. I know this from experience as, a few years ago, after I’d had my two-yearly eye test, my optician wouldn’t let me have my prescription until I’d had a blood test at my doctor’s. The optician gave me a letter which I duly trotted down with to my doctor and had my first ever blood test (I wasn’t scared at all. Okay, I was totally scared and I didn’t even get a lolly for being brave, bah). Everything thankfully was fine but the moral of this story is that to keep your eyes in good health, exercise regularly and keep your eye tests up to date.
To keep your health even more in tip-top condition, if you do wear glasses, it’s probably a good idea to wear them (or contact lenses) when you’re out running, cycling or walking so you can see cars coming when you cross the road and make the likelihood of getting run over much smaller.
Full of top tips, me.