With getting in shape and working toward a healthier self as a top choice for New Year’s resolutions, it’s highly likely that some of your patients decided to get in shape for 2014. Things seem easy for the first week or so, but as we settle back into post-holiday routines, it’s quite easy to let these good intentions fall to the wayside. What many need is an incentive to keep them motivated in their pursuit of a healthier life, so it’s the perfect time to remind patients that regular exercise will not only make them look and feel good, but will also help keep their eyes in shape as well.
Whether it’s through reminders during an exam, your practice’s newsletter or posts on your Facebook page, here are a few things to share with your patients that they may not know about.
– Exercise helps improve circulation throughout the body, and improved circulation in the tissues of the eyes can help remove certain toxins.
– Regular exercise can also reduce intraocular pressure, which aids in the prevention of glaucoma.
– Engaging in physical activity can also help lower one’s risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One study of 3,800 people revealed that people who exercised at least three times per week were less likely to develop AMD than those that didn’t exercise at all.
– A study of runners revealed men considered “most fit” to have one-half the risk of cataracts than those considered “least fit.”
Some patients may be curious to know which activities are best for their exercise routines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that adults complete about two and a half hours of moderate exercise each week, which can include brisk walks around the neighborhood or simply mowing their grass with a push lawn mower. The CDC also suggests incorporating weight training to strengthen muscles at least two days a week. If patients are interested in a specific exercise plan, advise them to consult with their primary care physician.
Of course, much like their bodies, your patients’ eyes need more than exercise to keep their eyes and vision in shape. Routine comprehensive eye exams complete with an optomap® can help detect systemic and eye diseases in their earliest stages. Visit our website to learn more about how Optos’ unique UWF retinal imaging technology can help you keep your patients’ eyes in shape.