We all know that doing regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay fit and strong, but did you know that it can also keep your eyes healthy and preserve your vision?

Several studies have found connections between exercise and reducing the risks for a number of common eye conditions. One found that people who engage in moderate to vigorous physical exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop glaucoma than those who were largely inactive. Another study revealed that people who exercised three times a week were less likely to develop exudative age-related macular degeneration than those who didn’t exercise.

As well as prevention, exercise can also help you better manage an illness that can affect your vision. For example, physical activity can help people with diabetes keep their condition under control, which reduces the risk of vision complications, such as diabetic retinopathy — the leading cause of vision loss among working-age adults.

The good news, though, is that you don’t have to work out like a professional athlete in order to gain the vision benefits that come with exercise.

And since Fall is a great time of the year to get out and active (with crisp and cool temperatures that don’t dehydrate your body like the summer heat can), there’s no better time than now to get outside and exercise!

Here’s our list of three outdoor workouts that are perfect for Fall.

Trail Running

Running is one of the easiest ways to gain the benefits of exercise. And whether it’s around your neighborhood or in a park, the do-anywhere nature of running makes it one of the most accessible workouts you can find.

If you’re looking to take your running off-road (which we highly recommend you consider doing!), Autumn is the perfect time to blaze new trails. On top of giving your eyes the opportunity to feast on some of the most stunning views that nature has to offer, trail running in the Fall can improve balance and coordination. Be extra careful with your footing, however, as wet fallen leaves can be a slippery hazard and fresh layers of newly fallen leaves could hide rocks and roots that you might contribute to a fall. 

Scenic Hiking

From being an excellent form of cardio and helping fight off disease to making you happier and sparking your creativity, hiking offers so many advantages for your physical and mental well-being that it should be a staple in any wellness routine. Plus, studies have also found that natural light may be essential for children’s’ normal eye development.  (In other words, bring your kids along!) 

Before you head out, though, be sure to include the one small, simple thing that can keep your eyes safe from the elements: sunglasses! As well as shielding you from UV rays, sunglasses can keep environmental objects, like dirt, sand and debris, and from getting into your eyes and possibly causing damage to them.

Kayaking or Canoeing

Kayaking and canoeing are typically seen as more summer activities, but Fall also presents another great time of the year for these water sports. In addition to providing incredible aerobic and cardiovascular effects, kayaking and canoeing also offer a great workout for building upper body strength.

And in Autumn, you’ll have the extra bonuses of being able to relish the reflections in the water of beautiful Fall foliage and have the opportunity to bring your boat out on beaches and lakes that are almost always less crowded than in the summer.

At the end of the day, anything that drives you to work out and get active is great for helping to keep both your body and vision in good health. And with the cool weather and beautiful scenery, Fall is a great time to go and get active outdoors.

Be sure to also keep in mind that, as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, having regular eye exams is among the best way to keep your eyes in great shape. Contact us today to schedule your eye exam, so that you can keep your eyes healthy and vision clear for years to come!

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