Eye Exercises

Your body isn't the only part of you that needs exercise, eye exercises are important also. Your eyes can become strained, sore and even fail you later in life without proper exercise. Below is a list of simple exercises that you should do to keep the muscles of your eyes strong.

  1. Palming is a popular exercise that will relieve eye strain. Rub your hands together for ten to fifteen seconds (this is to get them warm). Cup your hands and place them over your closed eyes with your fingers touching your forehead. Be sure to block all light from reaching your eyes (it is okay to see lingering traces of colors). After a few minutes you should see nothing but blackness, remove your hands and repeat as necessary.
  2. The near-far focus exercise will strengthen the muscles of your eyes. While holding you thumb six inches from your nose, focus your eyes on the tip of your thumb. Take one or two deep breaths and exhale slowly, then focus on any object (about ten feet away) in the room. Take another one or two deep breaths and exhale slowly, repeat this exercise ten to twenty times. 
  3. The scanning technique. Start by sitting or standing at the end of any room, and remember to breathe normally. Scan around the edges of objects with your eyes (tv, computer, desk doorknob etc.). The object of this exercise is to keep your eyes moving in a fluid motion. Do this scanning exercise for two minutes, repeat two or three times.
  4. Give yourself eye massages to relieve strain and soreness. Start by washing your hands thoroughly, then drying them. Close your eyes and use very gentle pressure to massage your eyes in a circular motion. Massage your eyes for two to three minutes and repeat after a five of ten minute break.
  5. Use hydrotherapy if your eyes have been under constant stress for a long period. You will need two bowls of water, hot (but not hot enough to burn) and cold (tap water with ice added). Put a wash cloth in each bowl. Place the wash cloth from the hot water bowl onto your closed eyes for 30 seconds, remove it and place the cold water wash cloth onto your closed eyes for 30 seconds. Continue back and forth for two to three minutes, then use the massage technique above using a dry towel. 
  6. Do focus exercises with a pencil. Hold a pencil in front of you at arms length. While focusing on the tip of the pencil, slowly bring your arm towards your nose until your eyes lose focus. Repeat this exercise up to ten times.
  7. Up and down eye movements are great for eye muscles. Face forward and move your eyes as high as they will go and focus, without moving your head, lower and focus your eyes as far as they can go. You can incorporate side to side eye movements or do them instead. Do this exercise about eight to ten times.
  8. The distant focus exercise. Focus on any object that is more than 150 feet away for several seconds. Refocus on another object within 30 feet (at the same eye level as the 150 foot object), then slowly focus on the distant object again. Repeat this exercise five times.



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