Does Exercise Affect Eye Health?
Regular physical activity can benefit your vision in the long run.
When we visualize the effects of physical activity, we often picture large pecs, bulky arms, toned abs, and other exaggerated body parts. But engaging in routine exercise can have a positive residual impact on your eye health, as well. Here are three reasons why.
#1 – Improved Blood Flow
Exercise boosts your circulation by making your heart pump faster and clearing blood from your arteries. Specifically, cardiovascular exercises (e.g. walking, running, swimming, and cycling) increases blood flow to the optic nerve and the retina. Improper blood flow to these critical parts of your eyes can lead to permanent nerve and vision damage.
#2 – Lowered HBP and Cholesterol
High blood pressure is a common cause of hypertensive retinopathy, a condition in which the blood vessels in the retina become damaged, potentially causing vision loss. Similarly, high cholesterol can harm your eyes through the buildup of fatty deposits in the retinal blood supply. Exercising helps lower your blood pressure and keep your cholesterol levels in check, minimizing your chances of experiencing these negative complications.
#3 – Reduced Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes is a risk factor for several common eye diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body develops a resistance to insulin. When you exercise, your body requires more insulin to compensate for its higher output by creating energy. This constant use of insulin decreases glucose buildup in the bloodstream, which lessens your chance of developing diabetes and its related eye diseases.
How Much Exercise Should You Do?
Don’t worry – you don’t have to become a bodybuilder to reap the eye benefits of exercise. Try to perform at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for five days each week. Going out for a walk, taking a bicycle ride, and doing yard work are excellent exercises to stay in shape and enjoy your eyesight for years to come.
Take your first step and integrate exercise into your life today. Should you ever begin to experience abnormal vision, see an eye doctor immediately. Sterling Vision is composed of experienced optometrists and ophthalmologists equipped with solutions to all your eye care needs. To schedule an appointment with us, 541-262-0597 or schedule online.