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How to Improve Your Eyesight

How to Improve Your Eyesight

There are so many myths and misconceptions about how to improve eyesight or prevent eye problems. Stop me if you’ve heard these:

“Eating carrots is good for your eyes.”

“Videogames ruin your eyesight.”

“Exercising your eye muscles will improve your vision.”

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The trouble with these old wives’ tales about eyesight is that they lump all vision problems together and treat them the same. But the number and variety of common eyesight problems is staggering.

Some are curable, some can only be treated rather than cured, and other eye conditions are completely untreatable, though many are avoidable if you care for your eyes before you ever get any vision problems. So improving your eyesight if it’s already below average is very different from avoiding eye-damaging behaviour.

Here’s a run-down of the best ways to try to improve your eyesight, from the traditional to the technological.

Eat Well to See Well

The old wives’ tale about carrots helping you see in the dark isn’t entirely unfounded. Carrots contain a fair amount of Vitamin A, which can help to treat night blindness. And if you don’t like carrots, you can get almost as much Vitamin A from broccoli leaves, or sweet potatoes. But it’ll only work if you already have a vision problem caused by Vitamin A deficiency; for healthy eyes, extra carrots will make no difference.

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Other healthy foods for your eyes include green leafy vegetables and fish. A diet with plenty of these foods is one of the reasons why the rate of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that causes a blind spot in the centre of your visual field, is falling in the developed world.

Exercise to Treat Focus Issues

Yes, eye exercises can improve your eyesight, but only if you suffer from an eye condition like double vision, uncoordinated eye movements, crossed eyes or an inability to cross your eyes, all of which hamper your ability to focus your vision.

A review of scientific evidence shows that no amount of eyeball exercise will cure nearsightedness, longsightedness, astigmatism, or the gradual blurriness of close-up focus that comes with increasing age.

Avoid Eye Strain

Too much strain on your eyes can lead to problems with your eyesight in the short term and the long term.

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No matter what you’re doing, stop every 20 minutes or so to look at something else. If you’ve been doing up-close work, focus on a distant object for half a minute; if you’ve been staring out into the distance, look at something close by (your own hands, for example). The change in distance helps to prevent straining the muscles that adjust the focus of your eyes.

Another source of eye strain is light itself. Ultraviolet light damages your eyes, so wear UV-protective sunglasses to help prevent deterioration of your vision.

And bear in mind that our eyes evolved to handle light from the sun or a flame, so the electric light from streetlamps, computer screens and LEDs may cause more eye strain than natural light. Even that isn’t a sure thing, though; the benefits of electrically-lit experiences can outweigh the downsides.

Play High-Adrenaline Videogames

You might think certain activities, like watching TV or playing videogames, are pretty much guaranteed to make your eyesight worse. That’s not necessarily true.

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Some videogames may help to improve your eyesight. Brain and sight scientists say that playing first-person shooter games like Medal of Honor leads to improvements in eyesight, including detail perception and visual processing speed. This applies even to gamers with healthy eyes, as well as to patients with “lazy eye” problems. Check out this TEDx talk for more benefits of videogames:

Make the Most of Technology

Natural ways to improve your eyesight may sound appealing to people with healthy eyes, but if you suffer from near- or long-sightedness then the question of how to improve eyesight can be answered most effectively by science and technology. Eyeglasses or contact lenses will instantly improve your visual focus, while laser surgery is a far more complex and permanent procedure with a recovery period before you experience the benefits.

Whatever condition your eyes are in, take good care of them and give them a rest every once in a while!

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Sophie Lizard

A writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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