Walking - Exercise for Your Eyes

posted Jan 24, 2017, 7:50 PM by Walk Strong Calgary   [ updated Jan 24, 2017, 7:50 PM ]
Walking is a great way to give your eyes a break from technology. Many of us spend a LOT of time daily in front of screens - computer, IPad, IPhone... pick a device. On the bus today, there were 10 people sitting ahead of me... half of them were staring down at their phones... and they ranged in age from teens to older adult - this isn't age-specific. As a society, we stare at screens - it's just the reality in which we live. It's not necessarily a bad thing - the technology itself is great!

It's important, however, to allow your eyes the opportunity to focus at a variety of distances. Like any muscle, your eyes will adapt over time depending on how you're using them. I speak from experience. My optometrist told me years ago that I do too much close-up work - as an artist who loves doing fine details, I was often painting with my eyes only about a foot or so away from the canvas. I've been in front of computer screens as my day job for around 30 years. I write... a LOT... either in journals or on my laptop. I do graphic & web design and video editing... once again putting me in front of a computer screen for extended periods. At one point, my prescription for vision was changing twice a year... for the worse.

Four years ago, I had a dramatic change for the better - a change that surprised my optometrist just as much as it did me. There was a three-point improvement in my vision over a period of about a year, something we had never seen (no pun intended) in the 20 years I've been going to her. We had seen marginal improvements on recent exams, but this took us both by surprise. When I told her that I had been certified as a fitness instructor and had started taking a whole food supplement, she speculated that the combination of good nutrition and spending more time focusing across a room (i.e., at my class participants) were the catalysts. It made sense.

Whether you walk indoors or out, fitness walking forces your eyes to focus beyond the distance of your computer screen. Even if you walk with the Walk at Home DVDs, you're still giving your peepers a break by being farther away from the screen. You can purposely focus in the distance by looking out the window or across the room and you can stare at the horizon often when walking outdoors (hint: keep IPhone in pocket...).

Go ahead... exercise your eyes while you walk!

Nancy Ehle is a Certified Master Walk 15® Instructor, Health Coach, and Group Fitness Instructor. As Founder & CEO of Witness 4 Fitness in Calgary, her mission is to encourage people of all ages and sizes to get and stay active for their good health. Nancy believes that fitness should be fun - if you can find an activity you enjoy, you're much more likely to stick with it. Her enthusiasm is infectious! Follow her on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/WalkStrongCalgary