All Those In Favor Of Good Health–Say Eye

As Functional Medicine Physician Dr. Pamela Smith likes to stress, there are three things that we should strive to maintain as we age—-Vision, Memory, and Mobility. So what is the hands down, undisputed, most effective way to hold on to all three as we mature? EXERCISE !!!
Let’s look at vision for a minute.
Almost all of us will have some evidence of cataract formation after the age of 65, with both the incidence and severity increasing with age. By the age of 80, the majority of people will either have cataracts that are visually symptomatic or have already had cataract surgery.
Age related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in older Americans.
Can regular physical exercise really help you to avoid these conditions and maintain your vision? Absolutely.
A study of 41,000 runners over 7 years found that these men and women had significantly lower rates of these two diseases than the general public. In addition, the higher the level of physical activity, the greater the effect.
A study from the University of Wisconsin followed 4000 men and women over 15 years and monitored visual health and level of exercise. They found that those with an active lifestyle were 70% less likely to develop degenerative eye diseases than those with a sedentary lifestyle. Regular walkers were 30% less likely to develop disease.
A third study found that those people who exercised the most had a 54% lower risk of developing Macular Degeneration when compared to those who exercised the least. When exercise was combined with healthy eating habits in non-smokers the risk was reduced by 71%.
This is about more than just maintaining our vision. With good vision there is a positive effect on our memory and long term mental functioning. With good vision we are able to read, see what is going on around us, and it allows us to be more mentally and socially engaged in our lives. It also has a positive effect on fitness, as we are less likely to get out and walk or engage in other forms of exercise if we can’t see well.
So if you needed one more reason to kick your activity level up a notch–here it is.