exercise for eye healthYou probably already know that physical exercise can help you look and feel healthier. In fact, thirty minutes of exercise a day can help lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. What’s more, exercise can help slash away high levels of cholesterol and blood pressure.

But it’s not just your body that seriously benefits from your daily run or strength regimen – your eyes do as well.

The majority of eye diseases can be linked to the major diseases we’ve just mentioned. For example, patients with diabetes are more likely to suffer from diabetic retinopathy, which causes damage to the retinas and can eventually lead to blindness. Patients with high blood pressure are at serious risk of blindness, as this condition strains the eye’s blood vessels, as well as the optic nerve.

Since many of these diseases can be minimized – or even prevented – by exercise, it makes sense that people who get thirty minutes of activity per day are much less likely to experience complications with their vision and eye health. A recent study showed that people who engaged in moderate physical exercise each day were much less likely to develop glaucoma than those who did not exercise.

Another study looked at the medical history of older patients to see if there was a link between physical inactivity and the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This study found that people who exercised three times each week were much less likely to develop AMD than those who did not.

These studies suggest that there could be a very strong link between a sedentary lifestyle and eyesight complications, including glaucoma and AMD.

If you already have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels, you can still benefit from physical exercise. Going for a thirty-minute walk around the block at least three times a week can help lower your risks for developing vision and eye health complications. Even regular dancing or taking the stairs at work can be a step in the right direction. However, it’s important to stick to a regular exercise routine; once you’ve stopped your exercise regimen, your risk will continue to increase.

To learn more about the link between exercise and better eye health, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia. NewView Eye Center also serves the greater Washington, DC metro area.