We all know that it is important to keep our bodies fit by doing things like jogging, swimming and going to the gym. But, did you know that you can exercise your eyes as well? Eye exercising will keep your eyes healthy and help minimize eyestrain.
Eye exercises are not meant to improve your vision, but rather to maintain your best eyesight level and prevent further vision deterioration.
Eye Exercise 1
- Sit comfortably on a chair.
- Rub your hands together until they feel warm.
- Close your eyes and cover them lightly with your cupped palms.
- Your nose should not be covered. Make sure no light rays can enter your eyes though gaps between your fingers or the edges of your palms and nose.
- You may still see other lingering traces of colors.
- Avoid applying pressure to your eyeballs.
- Imagine deep blackness and focus on it.
- Take deep breaths slowly and evenly while thinking of some happy incident, or visualize a distant scene.
- After you see nothing but blackness, remove your palms from your eyes.
- Repeat the palming for at least 3 minutes.
Eye Exercise 2
- Sit and relax.
- Roll your eyes clockwise, then counter-clockwise.
- Repeat 5 times.
- Blink in between each time.
Eye Exercise 3
- Lightly press three fingers of each hand against your upper eyelids.
- Hold them there for 2 seconds, then release.
- Repeat 5 times.
Eye Exercise 4
- Full Face Massage: Soak a towel in hot water. Rub your neck, forehead and cheeks with the towel, avoiding the eyes. Then, use your fingertips to gently massage your forehead and closed eyes.
- Hot and Cold Compress: Soak one towel in hot water, and the other in cold. Take one and lightly press it to your face, focusing on your eyebrows, closed eyelids, and cheeks. Alternate between the two as desired, making sure to end with a cold compress.
- Eyelid Massage: Close your eyes and massage them with circular movements of your fingers for 1-2 minutes. Make sure you press very lightly and have washed your hands to avoid damaging your eyes.
Eye Exercise 5
- Close your eyes tightly for 5 seconds.
- Open your eyes for 5 seconds.
- Repeat 7 or 8 times.
Eye Exercise 6
- Do up and down eye movements, starting from up to down.
- Repeat this 8 times.
- Then do the side to side eye movement, starting from left to right.
- Repeat this 8 times.
- Be sure not to force your eyes further than they want to go in any particular direction, or you risk making your vision worse.
Eye Exercise 7
- Focus on an object in the distance (as far as possible) with a low contrasting background.
- Do this for a few minutes every half hour.
Eye Exercise 8
- Imagine that you are standing in front of a large clock.
- Look at the middle of the clock.
- Then look at any hour mark, without turning your head.
- Look back at the center. Then look at another hour mark.
- Repeat this at least 12 times.
- You can also do this exercise with your eyes closed.
Eye Exercise 9
- Head Movements: Close one eye. Slowly form a figure 8 with your head. Repeat for the other eye. Continue for 2-3 minutes.
- Bar Swings: Stand in front of a fence, barred window, or something else with evenly spaced vertical lines. Focus loosely on a distant object on the other side of the bars. Relax your body and rhythmically transfer your weight from one foot to the other. Keep your breathing steady and relaxed. Continue for 2-3 minutes. Don’t forget to blink while performing this exercise.
- Round Swings: Focus on an object in the distance that is close to the ground. Sway as instructed for Bar Swings. Keeping your gaze on the same object, use your peripheral vision to observe your surroundings as you sway. Continue for 2-3 minutes.
Eye Exercise 10
- Look in front of you at the opposite wall and pretend that you are writing with your eyes.
- Don’t move your head.
- The bigger the letters, the better the effect.
- This may seem difficult at first, but with a bit of practice it is really fun.
Eye Exercise 11
- Hold a pencil in front of you at arm’s length.
- Move your arm slowly to your nose.
- Follow the pencil with your eyes until you can’t keep it in focus.
- Repeat this 10 times.
Eye Exercise 12
- Focus on a distant object (over 150 feet or 50 m away) for 15 seconds.
- Then, slowly refocus your eyes on a nearby object (less than 30 feet or 10 m away) without moving your head.
- Focus for again for 15 seconds, and then focus back to the distant object.
- Repeat this 5 times.
- Consult your optometrist (eye doctor) before doing any of these exercises. The last thing you want to do is add further strain to your eyes, or damage them permanently.
- Wash your hands before doing these exercises to avoid getting irritants in your eye.
- Do not apply pressure on your eyes.
- Doing these exercises when you wear contacts may cause them to suction to your eyeball. They might also move around and possibly become folded and/or dislodged, which can be extremely uncomfortable as well.
- There has never been any peer reviewed research demonstrating improvement in visual clarity by exercise. Some people have weakness in the ability to turn their eye in or out. You may have esotropia (eye naturally turned in) or exotropia (eye naturally turned out). Exercise may help these conditions.
- When doing these exercises, make sure that you’re not facing anybody, or that they know you’re doing eye exercises. Otherwise they might think you’ve gone nuts.
- Always finish up either with palming or another eye relaxation technique.
- It’s more important to do the exercises regularly than to do them for a long time. Even 30-60 seconds of eye movement every hour is very helpful. For example, when your computer takes its sweet time to do something, you can try making a few circles with your eyes. Even the first day you do this, you should notice that your eyes aren’t as tired as usual at the end of the day.
- Focus on far things regularly.
- Blinking will also help prevent tired eyes.
- Roll your eyes so the nutrition can spread evenly to make your eyes have better sight.
- Palming is a good method to use whenever your eyes feel strained.
- Taking short breaks from staring at a computer monitor to stare out to the distance of at least 20 feet (6.1 m) for 20 seconds also relieves some strain.