Improving your eyesight and reducing your chance of degenerative eye conditions later in life may be as simple as taking 10-15 minutes each day to run through these basic exercises, which can be done almost anywhere.
1. FOCUS SWITCH
Practise this exercise for a couple of minutes each session, and do it at least once daily. Choose a close object to focus on (you can use your thumb) and hold it about 25cm/10in away from your face. Now choose a distant object – about 4.5m/15ft away from you. With each breath switch your focus between the near ad far objects. This is one of the best exercises for strengthening eye muscles.
Another eye muscle strengthener, this one helps to improve flexibility. The infinity exercise is where you move your eyeballs in the shape of the infinity symbol (like a horizontal figure 8). It does feel weird to begin with, but do persist! Move your eyes slowly tracing the infinity pattern in one direction for 2 minutes, then switch to the other direction for 2 minutes.
This may sound incredibly simple, but we don’t blink as often as we should throughout the day. This is particularly true for people who spend lot of time working at computers or watching television. Even non-screen activities where you are intently focused on your task cause you to blink far less than usual. The simplest exercise of all – just blink then count to three, then blink again, repeating this for two minutes. Take note of times throughout the day when you find yourself staring, and use the opportunity to consciously blink more often.
While you are sitting down comfortably, outstretch your arm with the thumb up (in the hitch hiking position!). Focus on your thumb at arms length, and then slowly bring your thumb towards your face whilst maintaining focus. Do this until your thumb is about 7.5cm/3in from your eyes, and then bring the thumb slowly back to arms length again. Repeat for 2 minutes daily.
5. EYE PALM
This is the most relaxing of all the exercises, and helps to relieve stress in the eye area. Sit at a desk or table and breathe deeply. Rest your elbows on the table and close our eyes. Place your palms over your eyes and cup your eye sockets for a couple of minutes. Ensure that the pressure is gentle – the point is relaxation and stress relief.