We don't know about you, but just watching the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo has got us all fired up about fitness. Hey, we might not be serious athletes, but we can easily up our A-game when it comes to exercise. And, as research has shown that 20-minutes of physical activity 4 times a week can make a huge difference to our eye health, we've selected 3 of the most achievable Olympic-inspired sports. So, pop in your contact lenses, pump that playlist and let's go for gold!
Forget the fancy equipment and embrace the outdoors with one of the simplest and most eye-health enhancing exercises. Whether you're just starting out or sprinting to beat your personal best, running is considered to lower your risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. A regular run or even a swift stroll gets the blood pumping throughout your body, promotes the release of eye-disease-fighting anti-oxidants and lowers the intraocular pressure (the fluid pressure) inside your eye. As high pressure can damage your optic nerve and harm your vision, keeping up with any sort of cardio will ensure you and your eyes stay in tip-top shape.
Tip: During any exercise, especially weightlifting, remember to always breathe correctly - holding your breath can actually increase intraocular pressure.
If you're keen to switch up your commute while boosting your eyes' resilience and helping the planet, cycling with contact lenses is the way to go. In fact, just peddling for an hour per day reduces your chances of eye conditions like age-related cataracts by increasing the flow of blood to the optic nerve and retina, and preventing the overgrowth of blood vessels. An exercise like cycling also increases a type of enzyme that helps limit nasty eye infections and inflammation, potentially slowing the clouding of the lens, which causes cataracts. Plus, for wearers with diabetes a daily bike ride, Zumba session or Youtube workout lessens the possibility of diabetic retinopathy - a complication that affects the retina and eyesight.
Tip: Along with a sturdy helmet, make sure to invest in a good quality pair of sunglasses to go with your UV contact lenses, protecting your eyes from harmful light exposure.
Racket sports of any kind can work wonders on sharpening your eyesight and strengthening your eye health. Of course, having to constantly keep your eyes on the ball or shuttlecock means that they're continuously stimulated and have to adapt to changes in speed and distance. Like other cardio and aerobic activities, tennis also increases your blood flow and helps to lower your blood pressure while protecting retinal function and structure from degeneration that leads to eye diseases like ADM, glaucoma and cataracts. If you stick to a healthy eating plan off the court to lower your cholesterol, too - your heart, as well as your eyes will benefit in the long run.
Tip: Switching from glasses to contact lenses is a must for racket sports - a ball to the face can result in an eye injury and lenses allow for complete freedom of movement and better peripheral vision.
Try everclear ELITE
Exclusive to Vision Direct, everclear ELITE contact lenses are extremely comfortable and breathable, with an ultra-hydrating formula perfect for those with dry eyes, locking in moisture throughout your sporting schedule.
These daily disposable contacts are made with a silicone hydrogel material, ensuring your eyes stay and look healthy for up to 12 hours. Plus, UV blocking offers an extra layer of defence against harmful sun rays while you're on the court, track or field.
Discover everclear ELITE
Other ways to keep your eyes healthy
- Change to daily lenses: Incredibly breathable and majorly comfortable, dailies are a winner when it comes to everything exercise-related and beyond - after a sweating session, you can take them out and put in a fresh pair, no problem.
- Go for regular eye tests: Schedule an eye test every 2 years to monitor your contact lens prescription and track your eye health - check out our exclusive eye health package with David Clulow and get an eye test and contact lens check-up for just £25.
- Maintain your eye care routine: Monthly and two-weekly wearers can't drop the ball on their cleaning and storing schedule, as dirty lenses can result in eye infections and irritations.
- Eye drops are essential: Add a bottle of eye drops to your sports kit and banish itchy, uncomfortable eyes on the spot - everclear Eye Drops are especially effective with a gentle and soothing formula.
- Work out your eyes: After exercising, wind down and give your peepers some pampering with a few simple eye exercises.