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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 May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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