How to Exercise the Eyes
We all know how important it is to keep our body fit and active thanks to a daily exercise routine, but did you know that this also applies to our eyes? The ocular gymnastics was created to strengthen the eye muscles, improve focus, eye movements and stimulate the visual cortex of the brain. Although there is no scientific evidence to regularly exercise better eyesight, it can help counteract existing problems and maintain the current level of visual quality.
Prepare the Eyes
1) Talk to your eye doctor about ocular gymnastics.
There is no clear scientific evidence to support the fact that regularly exercise the eyes better eyesight. So before embarking on any activity, it is a good idea to get your eyes examined by your eye doctor. He will be able to diagnose any kind of visual problem. Before starting to practice ocular gymnastics, you should ask the eye care professional if the type of exercises you choose can bring real benefits to your eyes.
Remember that this type of exercises can not cure eye problems such as myopia (difficulty in focusing on distant objects), presbyopia (decrease in the ability to accommodate the eye) or astigmatism (visual defect caused by the shape of the cornea). Most eye doctors are sceptical about the ability of ocular gymnastics to solve visual problems for which corrective glasses need to be worn.
However, trying ocular gymnastics does not cause any harm unless your eyes are already suffering from a condition that can be exacerbated by prolonged exertion. If your eyes have severe defects such as cataracts, the blindness of one or both organs or lesions to the cornea do not practice this type of exercises.
2) Perform “palming”.
This exercise reduces visual stimulation that reaches the eyes and the brain. Close the eyes by applying a slight pressure with the eyelids so that the tear film spreads evenly, favouring the relaxation of the eyes.
Sit on a chair and get comfortable. Rub your hands to warm them slightly.
Close your eyes and cover them gently with the palms of your hands in the shape of a cup. Avoid putting pressure on the eyeballs. The nose must remain completely free to ensure proper ventilation during the massage.
Make sure that the light can not filter through the cracks between the fingers or from the space between the palm and the nose. The light instead of relaxing the eyes stimulates them, effectively cancelling the relaxation process. Imagine that you are in complete darkness and focused on it.
Breathe deeply and slowly at a steady pace as you concentrate on an image that calms you down and relaxes, such as an empty beach, a lake with transparent waters, or an imposing, motionless mountain. When you will not see anything but complete darkness remove your palms from your eyes.
Repeat this exercise for 3 minutes or longer.
3) Massage your eyes.
This exercise increases the blood circulation of the face and eye contour by preparing them for gymnastics.
Use hot and cold compresses: dip a towel in warm water and one in cold water. Place the hot compress on your face making sure it covers the eyebrows, closed eyelids and cheeks. After three minutes remove the hot compress from the face and apply the cold one. Alternate the two tablets as you wish, but make sure to complete the treatment with the cold one. Exposing the face to different temperatures causes an alternation of vasodilatation and vasoconstriction, physiological changes that cause a stimulation of the face and eye contour.
Perform a full facial massage: dip a towel in warm water. Rub it on the neck, forehead and cheeks. Then use your fingertips to gently massage your forehead and eyes closed.
Massage your eyelids: wash your hands thoroughly. Close your eyes and massage them with circular movements of your fingers for about 1-2 minutes. During the massage, be sure to exert minimal pressure on the eyes. This way you will help stimulate the eyes. 18 APRIL 2018
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Exercise the Eyes
4) Stimulates the focus from near and far.
This exercise strengthens the muscles of the eyes and helps maintain the current visual capacity.
Sit on a chair or stand up, facing a wall with no objects. Place your thumb at a distance of about 26 cm from your face and focus on it. Alternatively, you can focus the view on an object placed at a distance of 3-4 meters for a time of 10-15 seconds.
Now focus on an object placed at a distance of 3-6 meters in front of you without moving your head. Focus on the object of your interest for 10-15 seconds.
After 10-15 seconds, focus again on your thumb. Perform this exercise 5 times.
5) Perform “zooming”.
This exercise is great for training the eye focus. It consists in continuing to modify the distance of an object trying to keep it correctly in focus.
Sit in a comfortable position.
Stretch the arm in front of you with the thumb of the hand facing up.
Focus the view on the thumb, then bring it closer to you without looking away until it is about 8 cm from your face.
Move your thumb away from your face until your arm is fully extended.
Perform three more repetitions of the sequence of movements and do it once a week.
Alternatively, you can perform this exercise by holding a pencil in front of you extending the arm completely. Then approach it slowly in the direction of your nose. Continue to follow the pencil with your eyes until you are able to see it in perfect focus.
6) Draw an 8 with your eyes.
This is a great exercise to increase the control of eye movements.
Imagine seeing a large 8 drawn on the floor about 6 meters in front of you.
Follow the contours of 8 with your eyes slowly.
Continue drawing the picture following the same direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) for a few minutes, then change the direction and repeat the exercise at the same time.
7) Perform rhythmic movements with the eyes.
This type of movements helps to strengthen the eyes and hand-eye coordination.
Perform “swinging”. This exercise is useful for testing the brain’s ability to keep the body balanced and coordinated when focusing on an object. Position yourself in front of a fence, a window with bars or any other object that has equidistant vertical lines. Focus your gaze on a distant object that is beyond the bars. Relax your body and transfer the weight from one foot to the other. Continue to breathe constantly and relaxed. Do not forget to blink during the practice of this exercise. Continue for 2-3 minutes.
An alternative version of “swinging”. This exercise serves to strengthen the peripheral vision of the eye. Focus the view of a distant object that is close to the ground. It swings with the body as explained in the previous exercise, keeping the gaze fixed on the same object. While waving with your body use peripheral vision to observe what surrounds you. Continue for 2-3 minutes.
8) Perform directional exercises.
Moving your eyes different directions is a great way to practice them.
Stay upright or sit down. Look straight in front of you. Without moving your head, move your gaze to the left, then to the right. Repeat the movement 5 times. Perform three repetitions of the complete exercise.
Without moving his head he looks down. So look upward. Focus on what you can see. Again, do 3 repetitions.
Without moving your head, look straight in front of you. Then move your gaze to the lower left corner focusing on what you see, then move it in the opposite direction that is to the upper right corner, always observing what you can see. Repeat the movement 5 times. Now look back straight in front of you and repeat the exercise by moving your gaze from the lower right corner to the upper left corner. Again, do 3 complete repetitions.
9) Complete the series of exercises with “palming”.
After an intense session of exercises, it is always good to finish with the palming in order to relax the eyes.
Alternatively, you can end your ocular gym session by simply closing your eyes and keeping them closed while you are in a dark, quiet room. Stay in this position for a few minutes, allowing it to cool and rest.