We have an easier time staying in shape, feeling healthy, and getting stronger when we’re eating well, sleeping enough, and staying active. We also reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart conditions, and type 2 diabetes. What does all of that have to do with our eyes?
When we don’t make an effort to stay active, we become more susceptible to vision loss in our old age. The chronic health problems listed above also take a serious toll on the eyes. In particular, type 2 diabetes is one of the biggest risk factors for diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and cataracts.
Without getting the right nutrients from a healthy diet or being able to recharge while we sleep, our eyes (along with the rest of the immune system) won’t be able to defend effectively against infection, refresh themselves, or heal from injuries.
Staying active significantly reduces our risk of sight-threatening conditions, but what does it mean to stay active? Exercising or participating in some kind of activity that gets your body moving (it could be as simple as going for a walk) at least three times a week can lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration by as much as 75%, while also reducing the risk of glaucoma by 25%. Also make sure to incorporate plenty of vegetables (not only carrots) into your meals.
Online resources for getting advice about exercise are endless, but the most important piece of advice anyone could give is that the best workout is the workout you actually do. Don’t stress about whether or not you’re doing the most effective workout routines, just prioritize regular physical activity. If you haven’t made a habit of regular physical activity, what kind of exercise do you think you would be most likely to do on a regular basis?
Some people have no trouble going to the gym multiple times a week. Others will swim or go walking or jogging through their neighborhoods. You might find it more engaging to join a local sports club, sign up for a martial arts class, or bring your significant other to learn how to ballroom dance. Consider trying pilates, yoga, or rock climbing.
There’s a type of exercise for everyone, and as long as you find out which ones are most enjoyable for you, you’ll have a great chance of making them part of your routine. The same goes for eating healthier. Find the healthy foods you enjoy eating most so that you aren’t constantly choosing between unhealthy food you love and healthy food you hate.
Diet and exercise will go a long way towards promoting good overall health, but regular checkups are important too, and that includes regular eye exams. We want to make sure everything is working correctly and keep any glasses or contact lens prescriptions current. Early detection is also the best tool for fighting back against many sight-threatening diseases.