Just like any other part of your body, your eyes need to be worked to keep them in top shape. The same way we run to improve cardiovascular strength or lift weights to gain muscle mass, our eyes need vision training to be strong and healthy.
However, much like regular exercising, it can be tough to find time to fit it into your busy day. Vision training doesn’t have to be strenuous or take up too much time, like other exercises do. Eye exercises can be done almost anywhere at any time!
On Your Way to Work
There’s nothing worse than that feeling you get after being stuck in traffic. What’s normally a 20-minute commute has suddenly become an hour. You get to thinking of all the things on your to-do list that you could have gotten done in that time. Instead, you’re confined to your metal box with nothing but the radio to pass the time.
Next time you get stuck in traffic, why not try out some easy eye exercises? Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous, so it’s important to do exercises that won’t distract you or impair your vision.
For example, no eye massages. Eye massages are great and we’ll get more into them later, but they require you to take your hands off the steering wheel and close your eyes. While driving, this is a recipe for disaster.
Instead, try something like a focus exercise. Focus on a car in the distance. This shouldn’t be too difficult. Now let your eyes focus on that car for 10 seconds, then, without moving your head, shift your focus to your dashboard. Do this back and forth no more than 10 times.
Always be careful when driving. Never allow the exercises to distract you. If traffic is moving freely, we do not recommend you do anything but focus on the road.
On the Bus
There is no limit to what eye exercises you can do on the bus or train.
The one exercise you’re definitely going to want to do on your way to work in the morning is give yourself an eye massage.
The great thing about eye massages is that they can be used for both relaxation and waking yourself up, depending on how much pressure you use. In the mornings, it’s best to start with a little bit of pressure to really get the blood flowing. This will help your eyes focus during the long day ahead of them.
Before massaging your eyes, it is important to have clean hands. We realize having clean hands on a bus isn’t always easy. Use a non-alcoholic hand sanitizer to clean your hands and let it dry completely before massaging your eyes. This will eliminate any risk of infection due to bacteria spreading from your hands to your eyes.
At the end of the day, on your way home, you may opt for a gentler eye massage. Lightly apply pressure to the eyelid and the surrounding areas and move your fingers in small circular motions. Rather than giving your eyes a jolt, this will help the eyes to defocus and relax.
You may experience blurred vision after a gentle massage. This is completely normal and is the one time you should actually enjoy your blurred vision. It only means that your eyes are defocusing and relaxing. Your eyesight should return to normal after a minute or two.
While on the Treadmill
This next tip is brought to you by one of our readers, who shared with us that they do vision training exercises while on the treadmill. What’s better than pairing exercise with exercise? Get it all out of the way at the same time!
While on the treadmill, you’re going to want to once again go with simpler eye exercises. You can try the eye focusing exercises described previously, or you can roll your eyes.
We know you’d get a slap on the hand in school for rolling your eyes, but these eye rolls are different. They’re for your health and are (mostly) devoid of sarcasm.
When rolling your eyes, you want to make sure that you aren’t rolling them all the way back into your head. Combined with running or brisk walking, you risk passing out or giving yourself a headache. Instead, try to draw very arched rainbows with your eyes without moving your head.
Then try the opposite and roll your eyes down toward your chin. Do this for no more than 10 seconds at a time. Too much eye rolling can cause headaches and eye strain. Practice with caution and stop immediately if you feel that something isn’t right.
Take a Break, Play a Game
You’re at work or at home and are just tired and in desperate need of a break. Instead of filling this break with mindless television or watching cats on YouTube (however fun it is), try finding a game specifically made to strengthen your eyes.
There are endless games and videos on YouTube to help with keeping your eyes healthy. There are specialized videos too, for those looking to target a specific problem such as lazy eye, focusing problems, and refractive errors.
If that doesn’t do it for you, you can also try playing Tetris. Tetris may help with amblyopia (lazy eye). It can also generally help your eyes to work together and focus while trying to fit the objects together.
Make It Part of Your Routine
Vision training exercises are among the easiest exercises to do. Make them part of your routine; they take no more than 10 minutes a day.
The best time to fit in your eye exercises is during your daily morning and night routine. Stand in your bathroom for five extra minutes doing vision exercises in front of the mirror. Then brush your teeth and be on your way!
No matter when you choose to do your vision training, do the exercises effectively and carefully. Stronger eyes will lead to preserving your eyesight longer and hold off age-related eye diseases.
This post originally appeared on Rebuild Your Vision.