Decades of research have found links between physical activity and reduced risk of eye disease. 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.
In some cases, regular exercise helps affect health issues that indirectly affect your eyesight. For example, exercise is considered one of the best ways, along with diet, to manage diabetes. Since diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels of the retina and lead to diabetic retinopathy, regular activity can help your eyes as well as the rest of your body.
High blood pressure can also lead to eye disease and regular exercise has been proven to help prevent hypertension. Obesity is connected to several life-threatening diseases and there is strong evidence supporting the notion that regular exercise helps prevent weight gain while contributing to the maintenance of a stable body weight once a healthy weight is achieved.
Studies have shown that exercise can help protect you from developing certain types of cancer. Evidence also suggests that exercise lessens your risk of developing heart disease as it helps reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in your body. Research also points to physical activity playing a role in the decreased risk of developing dementia and the improved balance in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
With so much evidence supporting the advantages of regular physical activity as a proven contributor to eye health, there are really only two things you need to do. First, add exercise to your calendar. Pick 3 to 5 times a week and schedule physical activity like you would any other appointment. Next, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your optometrist and commit to returning every year or two so your eye health can be monitored and proactively managed. If you want to learn more about managing your health with exercise, contact your holistic optometrist.
Remember: Move it or lose it because motion is lotion!