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Healthy Aging Series: Taking Care of Your Body Takes Care of Your Eyes

September 23, 2014

Keeping your eyesight healthy and clear can start with keeping your body healthy and fit. In many cases, the same exercises and healthy habits that benefit your body can benefit your eyes as well. As part of our series on healthy aging, we’ll be discussing many things you can do to improve your eye health as you age. You don’t have to exercise like you’re training for a marathon, either; sometimes, the simplest changes in your diet or daily routine can make the biggest differences.

Keep your blood flowing

Cardiovascular exercises help blood move through your body’s circulatory system more efficiently. Cardio has the same benefit for the tiny blood vessels in and around your eyes as well. The improved blood flow from exercise transports oxygen throughout your body and your eyes more easily, promoting good eye health and reducing your risk for serious retinal issues.

Contents under (reduced) pressure

According to the national library of medicine, Glaucoma is a defined as damage to the optic nerve due to an increase of pressure in the eye. While aerobic exercises and cardio can reduce pressure by increasing the amount of oxygen that reaches your eye, there are some exercises that can actually increase ocular pressure. Some things, like high-intensity weight lifting routines, can have adverse effects to your eyes. These issues are compounded if you’ve already been diagnosed with Glaucoma. Talk with your physician and ophthalmologist before beginning any exercise routine, and make sure your body and your eyes are fit enough for the workout.

Eat the right foods

In our previous post, we discussed some of the foods you can eat to benefit the overall health of your eyes. All of those foods have equally important benefits to your body as well. As you age, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re eating the right foods, as they are proven to reduce the risk of you prematurely contracting many age-related eye diseases, like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Avoiding prolonged direct sunlight exposure

Your eyes, just like your body, need protection from the sun’s harsh rays. While getting a tan at the beach sounds like a great idea, you leave your skin exposed for melanoma. If you don’t protect your eyes, you run the risk of getting cataracts or making them much worse. Protect your skin with sunscreen, and protect your eyes with a wide-brimmed hat and UV sunglasses.

Of course, there are plenty of other healthy habits you can take part in that will improve the health of your eyes and your body. The real point of this blog post is to demonstrate that the same things your general practitioner recommends you do for good physical health often have are beneficial for your eyes as well. So next time you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to take that jog after dinner or order dessert, remember that your body and eyes will thank you for making the right choice.



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