Your eye health is largely affected by aging, that’s a fact. But it doesn’t mean that you have to accept vision deterioration as an inevitable part of getting old. A recent study suggests that regular exercise can help improve vision at any age. This is because exercise supports the neurons responsible for processing visual information.
The surprising finding uncovered in the study was that vigorous exercise was not shown to be more beneficial than sedentary lifestyle, meaning a moderate level of exercise is just enough to help keep your eyes healthy. Previous studies have found that regular exercise – three times a week – worked to reduce the likelihood of developing visual impairment. (Eat this, get stronger!)
For the latest study, participants rode stationary bikes while wearing heart rate monitors and devices to measure electrical activity in the brain. They also performed simple viewing tasks that used high contrast stimuli alternating black and white bars.
The tests were conducted while the participants were at rest and then again at intervals of low and high intensity bouts of exercise.
The researchers found that the participants’ visual cortex improved during light exercise, compared to more intense exercise. The visual cortex is responsible for processing visual information in the brain.
Psychologist Dr. Tom Bullock explained, “We found the peak response is enhanced during low-intensity exercise, relative to rest and high-intensity exercise.” (Siberian secret refuels energy from within.)
It is well known that exercise benefits go beyond physical well-being. Numerous studies have linked working out to other benefits such as boosted mood and improved cognitive function, so it really comes as no surprise that exercise can work to improve vision, too.
Not only does the study suggest that exercise can improve vision, but it also shows that you don’t have to work too hard to reap the benefits. Regardless of your current physical fitness level, simply going for walks is enough to begin improving your vision. However, the mechanisms behind the beneficial effect of light exercise on vision are yet to be discovered.
Related: Surprising food helps improve vision