Give Your Eyes a Break with These Eye Exercises

If you want to keep your body healthy and strong, you exercise. Why not afford your eyes the same courtesy? In today's world we spend a lot of time staring at screens. This can put a serious strain on our eyes.


Take regular breaks while working on a computer, playing on a phone, or watching TV. Then perform one or more of the following eye exercises. Note that these exercises do not fix your vision, but they do reduce eye strain, strengthen eye muscles, improve eye movements and focusing, and stimulate the brain's vision center.


Relax the Eyes

Palming

Before you start your exercises, give your eyes a chance to relax.

  1. Rub your hands together until they are warm.
  2. Close your eyes and cover them with your cupped palms. (This should put no pressure on your eyeballs.)
  3. Make sure no light is escaping through the gaps between your fingers. Though you may still lingering traces of colors, no light should be visible.
  4. Once all colors have faded and you can only see blackness, repeat the process.

Blinking
As you stare at the computer screen, your eyes will forget to blink as often as they need to. The close range and brightness of the screen will dry out your eyes if you do not regularly blink. Make sure to take breaks and consciously blink to keep your eyes fresh and ready to take in new information.


Open & Close
Every hour or so take a break to complete this exercise:

  1. Close your eyes tightly for 3-5 seconds.
  2. Open your eyes for the same amount of time.
  3. Repeat this process seven or eight times for maximum effectiveness.

Massage
A gentle massage can quickly rejuvenate your weary eyes. Depending on your time and materials, you have two good options for treating your eyes with a massage.


An eyelid massage can be performed at your desk after washing your hands. Simply close your eyes and lightly massage them using circular movements with your fingers for a couple of minutes. At no point should your eyeballs be uncomfortable from the applied pressure; if your eyes start to hurt at all, apply less pressure.


If you have a couple of rags, the hot and cold compress method can be very effective.

  1. Grab two rags and soak one it cold water and the other in hot.
  2. Lightly press the warm rag on your face, specifically focusing on your eyebrows, closed eyelids and cheeks.
  3. Rub in a circular motion.
  4. Repeat this process with the cold rag.
  5. Alternate this process between the hot and cold rag, and end with the cold rag.

Stretch & Flex the Eyes

Figure 8

For this exercise, focus on a flat surface approximately 3 metres away from you.

  1. Picture a large figure eight on this surface and turn it 90 degrees.
  2. Trace this shape with your eyes without moving your head.
  3. After tracing the shape in one direction a few times, switch directions.

This exercise increases the flexibility of your eyes.


Clock
This exercise will help to stretch your eye muscles and practice using their full range of motion.

  1. Picture a giant clock on the wall (about 2.5 metres across).
  2. Look at the centre of this imaginary clock, and then look at where one of the hour markers would be.
  3. Repeat this 12 times so you will look toward each hour marker.

You can also perform this exercise with your eyes closed.


Zooming
This exercise will help to hone your focusing skills. Go to an area where you will be comfortable extending your arm without distracting others.

  1. Stretch out your arm while holding a pencil standing vertically in your hand.
  2. Focus on this pencil as your arm is outstretched.
  3. Slowly bring the pencil closer to your face.
  4. Continue until the pencil is approximately 8 centimetres from your face.
  5. Move the pencil again until your arm is fully outstretched again.
  6. Repeat this process for a few minutes 3 or 4 times a day.

Wall Writing
Find a large, blank wall to focus on during this exercise. This will help you stretch your eye muscles and experience a full range of motion. Pretend that you are writing a message on the wall with your eyes. The bigger the letters, the greater the effect.


Resist the urge to move your head. At first, you may find it difficult, but eventually it becomes fun. Vary this exercise by writing in both print and cursive.


Remember to perform a relaxing exercise before and after stretching or flexing the eye muscles.


Our eyes were not designed for computer screens and it takes a lot of work to focus on a bright, close screen. It is important to give your eyes a break and exercise their muscles throughout the day. Perform at least one exercise for every hour you spend looking at screen.


Treat your eyes well and they will work hard in return!


For more tips, be sure to check out our blog or contact our helpful staff should you have any questions.

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