Can we improve eyesight by exercise?

We’re sure you know that regular exercise is good for your body. It’s beneficial for your mental health, keeps your body flexible, helps to relieve stress, and can help you sleep better. But did you know that exercise can also support your eye health? Our eyecare specialists are going to break down just how important exercise is for your eye health.

Exercise and eye health

Exercise and eye health

So, can we improve eyesight by exercise? While there is no way to technically improve your prescription for example, it can help to protect your eyes overall.

Exercise can help lower blood sugar, reduce eye pressure, maintain good cholesterol levels, and improve blood flow. All these things can help to keep your eyes healthy. However, regular exercise can also help lower the risk of developing various eye conditions to maintain good eyesight in the future.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AMD affects your central vision and happens when the light-sensitive cells at the back of your eye stop working. For people over 60, it is one of the most common causes of vision loss. There are 2 types of AMD, wet and dry, and if you exercise for half an hour or more 3 times a week, you can reduce your chance of developing wet AMD, which is the more advanced form, by 70%.


Glaucoma is the name of a group of conditions where fluid build-up in the eye raises the pressure and damages the optic nerve. Studies show that if you engage in regular moderate physical activity, you are 25% less likely to develop glaucoma. The best exercises to lower eye pressure include yoga, pilates, and walking.



Cataracts are when the eye’s lens clouds over, usually as a result of aging. Symptoms include blurry or hazy vision, faded colors, and trouble seeing in poor light. Cardio exercise such as running, swimming, or cycling for at least 30 minutes each day has been shown to help reduce the risk of age-related cataracts by 10%.


People with diabetes are at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the blood vessels in the retina and can lead to vision loss or even blindness. By managing diabetes and blood sugar levels with regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can reduce the risk of developing this and other eye conditions linked to diabetes.

Where to start

mentioned some exercises

We’ve mentioned some exercises that are good for lowering the risk of certain eye conditions. The best thing to do is to try to combine different activities each week. Adults require 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week to stay healthy, but it doesn’t all need to be the same activity.

There are lots of ways of fitting exercise into your routine. You could walk, run, or cycle to work or maybe go swimming a couple of times a week. If you prefer to use the gym, try to make a regular schedule to help you stay on track. Signing up for classes can be a good way to hold yourself accountable. Finding an exercise partner is a great way to ensure you both stick to a routine. There are many fun ways to exercise, such as dancing or joining a sports team.

Get in touch

For more eye health advice, contact your local Cunningham Optical store, and our team will be happy to help.