The abundance of health benefits derived from regular exercise are well known and become particularly evident as we age. Engaging in aerobic activity on a consistent basis, is good for the heart, brain, bones and muscles, but it is less often discussed in relation to ophthalmic health. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, studies have shown a link between exercise and disease prevention. Physical activity may help promote healthy blood vessels in AMD patients and it can help patients better control diseases like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Exercise is shown to reduce the risk of developing age-related cataracts and physically active people have a lower incidence of dry eye. So while we’re waiting for the miracle cures to all these conditions, it’s best, if we can, get up and get moving!
How much exercise?
Reaping the rewards of regular exercise actually requires much less than you might think. The standard recommendation by the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization, among others, is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, or 30 minutes five days a week. The more vigorous the workout, the less time commitment, running instead of walking, can be satisfied with 75 minutes per week, or 15 minutes 5 days a week. It’s never too soon, or too late, to get started. Build your activity around something convenient and enjoyable. Consider cardio workouts including, walking, dancing, swimming and biking, indoors or out. Keeping it consistent will compound the benefit, long term, to your overall health and wellness.
Exercise is the gift you give yourself. Make room for it in your schedule or incorporate it into daily activities, like replacing a bus, train or car ride with a brisk walk. Meet a friend for a fast walk around town or through a park. If a gym is comfortable and convenient, get on a treadmill, elliptical machine or stationary bike and move at your best pace. Put on some music and dance or do an aerobic workout. Take your dog out, exercise is great for their fitness too, and they’ll love you even more for it!