Eye exercises to improve eye health

May 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Most of us understand how great a good workout can be for our bodies, but did you know that it's also important to give your eye muscles a workout? Try these exercises in the office or at home for an easy way to improve your eye health.

Woman's eyes

Just like our bodies need exercise to stay in shape and at their optimal level of good health, our eye muscles can also benefit from a good workout. While these exercises may not perform miracles and cure your vision issues, they aim to prevent further deterioration and relieve sore and tired eyes. With most of us spending long hours each day staring at computer screens and televisions, these exercises may help give those peepers some much-needed relief. Wash your hands before placing them near your face and consult an optometrist before completing these exercises or if you're having vision issues.

Take a break

When staring at a computer screen for a long time, remember to take a break every now and then, and look off into the distance to give your eyes some relief.

Blink

Your eyes need moisture to perform at their best and to maintain good eye health. Blinking helps lubricate your eyes, clears the surface and delivers nutrients to the cells. Blink rapidly (but gently) 10 times, then relax.

Eye-roll

Sit in a comfortable position and roll your eyes in a clockwise direction, then counter-clockwise, then blink. Repeat several times.

Refocus

Practise focusing your eyes on objects at different distances. Look at something close up (a metre or so in front of you), then look out at something in the distance and allow your eyes to refocus for a minute. Repeat several times.

Follow an object

Hold your index finger up in the air, or raise an object such as a pencil, and slowly move it away from you, then back towards you in a straight line, aiming for your nose. Keep your eyes focused on your finger (or the object) throughout the process. Repeat several times.

Keep moving

There are several other basic exercises you can do to work your eye muscles. Try imagining a giant eight in front of you and follow it with your eyes. You can also move your eyes up and down, then left to right. Repeat these movements and make sure you blink between each. If these exercises cause you any discomfort or pain, make sure you consult a health professional.

Palm

When your eyes are feeling tired, this can be a quick way to help them relax. It's also a great way to end your eye exercise routine. Rub your hands together to generate some heat, then close your eyes and hover your palms over your eyelids, with your fingertips resting on your forehead and the palms of your hands on your cheeks. Be careful not to press your eyelids together too tightly, but rather aim to relax the face and let your eyes rest in darkness. Take a few deep breaths.

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