Exercise and Your Eyes

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Active older couple running in the fall

We all know that exercise is good for you and that it’s always a good idea to do it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we actually do it. In America, around 43.3 percent of adults and teens fail to meet the modest government guidelines set as a minimum weekly exercise goal. These goals are:

  • For Adults: at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
  • For Teens: at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise per day.

Americans aren’t alone. Many countries are adopting the sedentary North American lifestyle. Studies show that sedentary lifestyles and the corresponding health problems are working their way into places like Russia, the Middle East, and African countries.

So, what does this mean for your eyes? Well, as with most other parts of your body, your eyes thrive off of a healthy, active lifestyle. Over time, the couch potato way of living can really take a toll on your eye health. If you are a part of that 43.3 percent of sedentary Americans, listen up! Here is some information and advice you can apply to your life today for a brighter, clearer and healthier future.

How Can Inactivity Hurt Your Eyes?

Sitting down on the couch and binging that new Netflix series instead of going to the gym (for the third time this week) is not immediately harmful to you or your body. But as days become months and months become years, if you still find yourself on that couch, you may have a problem. Because humans are not known for their “everything in moderation” way of living, it is extremely easy to fall into the habit of skipping the gym and snuggling up in front of the TV – every day.

It’s not the lounging itself that has an effect on your eyes, it’s the conditions caused by the lounging that have an effect on your eyes. There are many conditions that can come about due to inactivity, but the biggest issue by far is obesity.

Obesity and Your Eyes

A sedentary lifestyle, especially when accompanied by the Standard American Diet, is a recipe for substantial health issues. As it stands, more than one third of American adults can be classified as obese. In addition to causing obesity, a sedentary lifestyle can cause Crohn’s disease, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. But for the sake of this article, let’s take a look at the ways obesity can affect your eyes.

Obesity is characterized by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Obesity puts you at risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke, among other things. When it comes to your eyes, obesity makes you more susceptible to diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, wet macular degeneration retinal vein occlusion, hypertensive retinopathy and cataracts.

We won’t get into every possible eye condition that can be caused by obesity, but it’s safe to say that these are conditions you should be actively trying to prevent. Some are not altogether preventable, but working hard to pick up a healthy lifestyle makes you much less likely to develop these conditions. Many of these eye diseases can cause serious, permanent vision loss.

If you value your health and vision, we strongly recommend talking to your doctor to see what you can be doing to put you on the path to an active, healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of education and a lot of motivation. Our NYC eye doctors here at Stahl are here to help you prevent and treat any eye conditions that come your way.

If you would like to schedule an eye examination and talk to one of our NYC eye doctors to find out what you can be doing for your eye health, contact Stahl Eyecare Experts in Manhattan today!


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