For as long as I’ve had eyes to see, my sight has been better than 20/20. That was up until a few weeks ago when I started noticing a little blurriness and slower focusing when looking into the distance. After a little self-reflection, I noted that starting this blog has forced me to stare at a computer screen for long stretches without much of a break.
This reminded me of an enlightening podcast I had heard called Katy Says with Katy Bowman, a biomechanist from the Pacific Northwest. In episode 3, she describes how our physical world can create casts on different parts of our body. One of the most pervasive casts in our society and humankind, in general, is the chair. Sitting in a chair for long periods of time, day after day, can create anatomical imbalances from our back to our hips and legs. Much like when your arm is casted for a few months, underutilized muscles become shriveled with disuse.
The idea of casting can also be applied to our eyes. No longer are we the hunter-gatherers of old, gazing into the horizon with the hopes of spotting a distant meal. Most modern humans are confined to small rooms, never able to utilize their vision fully. As the casting theory goes, if you don’t use it you lose it… or it just gets weaker.
Intent on bringing my eyes back to their former hawk-like prowess, I decided to research and implement some daily eye exercises. The 4 methods of eye-strengthening described here have definitely made an impact on my vision for the better. Let me know in the comment section below if they benefitted you in any way or if you have some of your own eye health regimens.
4 Ways to Firm Those Flabby Eyeballs
1. 20 minutes on, 20 seconds off
This is the method that I employ the most and have seen the best results from. I’m fortunate to live next to Prospect pPark, and so after every 20 minutes of screen-time, I will take a nice long stare out the window into the trees for around 20 seconds. Ideally, you’re able to look at an area that’s more than 20 feet away. Just like getting out of the car during a long journey, the idea is to stretch your eyes a bit and let them work.
2. Tibetan Eye Chart
Supposedly developed by Tibetan monks long ago, the Tibetan Eye Chart is used to correct visual problems by training the muscles and nerves of the optical system. Although there is no serious research to prove these claims, using the Tibetan Eye Chart can at the very least be used as an ocular workout. For best results, the exercises should be done without glasses or contacts.
Here’s how to use it:
1. Hang the chart on a wall at eye level.
2. Cover your eyes with cupped hands for a minute to fully relax them.
3. Standing with a straight spine a few inches away from the chart, line up your nose with the center point of the shape.
4. Without moving your head, move the eyes clockwise around the outer dots for 30 seconds.
5. Repeat step 4, this time counterclockwise.
6. Move the eyes back and forth between the dots at 2 and 8 o’clock for 30 seconds.
7. Repeat step 6, this time between the dots at 4 and 10 o’clock.
8. Finish by relaxing the eyes again with your hands cupped over them.
Repeat as desired, being sure not to strain your eyes too much. Generally once or twice is plenty.
This exercise requires no charts, only your thumb.
1. Stretch out your arm with your thumb pointed up, eyes focussing on the thumb.
2. Bring your thumb closer to you, while continuing to focus, until your thumb is about 3 inches away from your face.
3. Now move your thumb away again until your arm is completely straight.
4. Do this for a minute or two throughout the day.
It has been shown that certain vitamins can help keep your eyes healthy.
*Lutein and Vitamin C found in green leafy vegetables and fruit like kiwis and oranges can help slow the advance of age-related macular degeneration and other eye-related ailments.
*Omega-3 fatty acids best found in oily fish like salmon and sardines also do a great job of slowing macular degeneration, improving dry eye symptoms, and helping to prevent cataracts.
*Zinc found in shellfish, dark leafy greens, and nuts aid in the production of melanin which helps protect the eyes.
I hope these exercises help you gain some more sharpness and slow your eyes’ natural aging process! Results will, of course, vary as we are all humans needing different stimuli to produce desired outcomes. And as always if you enjoyed this article don’t forget to subscribe and Like Brooklyn Hippy on Facebook to get all of my latest posts!