We all know the importance of regular exercise and a nutritious diet in keeping ourselves healthy; however, there is one area of the body that most of us tend to take slightly for granted – our eyes.
Just like other areas of personal health, it’s essential to give your eyes some regular exercise. In our media-rich society, we’re spending more time than ever watching TV, staring at mobile screens and working in front of computers, all of which can have a detrimental on our eyesight.
Here are a few simple tips and exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home to give your eyes a quick workout and keep them in tip-top health.
Our eyes are continually changing focus between near and far throughout the day, but there is a specific focal exercise you can do that will significantly improve the strength of the muscles in your eyes.
To rapidly change between focal ranges and exercise the lenses in your eyes, try positioning your forefinger around 10 inches from your nose and focus directly on it. Next, switch your focus to something behind your finger, ideally around 10-20 feet away, perhaps a painting or an ornament in the background. Spend a few minutes switching between the foreground (your finger) and the background to improve the action of your lenses.
It might sound a little strange, but research has proven we blink far less than usual when we’re working, particularly at computer screens. Studies have shown we actually forget to blink.
Blinking refreshes the eyes and lets us focus for longer, so, next time you’re sat at a computer screen for an extended period, try taking a short break and spend a couple of minutes looking away from the screen and blinking every five seconds. Your eyes will quickly feel refreshed, ready to restart work again.
If you need them, wear glasses
The majority of eye conditions get worse without treatment. So, if you find your eyesight isn’t as good as it once was, you must arrange to see an optician or other qualified eye practitioner. Common problems like short-sightedness are easily treated by wearing the correct glasses. Buying eyewear has never been easier and websites like Just-glasses.co.uk have a vast range of colors and styles available online for quick delivery. Ignoring worsening eye conditions will only make things worse. If you need them, wear glasses.
Flexing your eye muscles
Strong ocular muscles are essential for good eyesight and doing a little flexing exercise will help keep your eyes in good shape. Either sitting or standing, look straight ahead then look up as high as you can without moving your head, followed by looking down as far as you can (again, without moving your head). Repeat the exercise looking left and right (always keeping your head still). Repeat this exercise ten times in the horizontal and vertical movement.
In the same way a camera lens zooms in and out to get a clearer view of small details, so do our eyes. Zooming is an excellent exercise for the eyes that will help with your vision. Using your forefinger as a focal point, stretch out your arm with your palm facing you. Focus entirely on your forefinger then slowly draw your hand closer until it is around three inches from your nose. Repeat the exercise, zooming in and out, for a couple of minutes to give your eyes a focal zoom workout.
The importance of breaks
Experts suggest we should spend at least ten minutes out of every hour away from a computer screen. Short, regular breaks are essential for the eyes and also the body. Get up and take a short walk or break away from your computer every hour to give your eyes a rest. Also, remember the importance of a good night’s sleep. This is recommended to be at least eight hours per day.