EYE ON FITNESS

Fitness alfresco: 5 fun outdoor workouts
 

Spring is the perfect time to soak up some long-awaited sunshine after all those cold winter days spent inside. That’s why we’ve created a list of fun activities that will get you outside and get your heart pumpin’. Grab a friend, some sunblock, and a pair of UV protection sunglasses, and give these activities a try!

Walking

Take a brisk walk around your neighborhood and look for things you’ve never noticed before. Head toward neighborhood rummage sales, community events, rose gardens, or your local farmers' market and soak in the beauty and culture of your hometown on foot.

“Walking might be one of the most basic forms of exercise, but it does wonders for guarding against heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, ocular hypertension, glaucoma, and a host of other eye conditions,” says Michelle Calder, OD, from Urban Optiques in Northville, MI.

Paddle boarding

A mix between surfing and canoeing, paddle boarding involves standing or kneeling on a large, floating board and using a paddle to maneuver through the water.

While you’re paddling, take some time to enjoy the scenery—through your UV protection sunglasses, of course! Grab some with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses or try prescription tinted water goggles. (Never wear your contacts in the water without water-tight goggles.)

Park potential and petanque

The exercise possibilities in a large, open space like a park are endless. Kick a soccer ball, toss a frisbee, pass a volleyball, or cruise around on your longboard.

Looking for something more exotic? A game of petanque might be right up your alley. A popular game in Europe, petanque—pronounced “pay-tonk”—is a mixture between horseshoes and bocce ball. The goal is to roll hollow, metal balls called boules as close as possible to a target ball called the cochonnet. Get your competitive juices flowing and give petanque a go.

Urban farming

With more and more people adopting sustainable lifestyles and enjoying local and organic food, farming is becoming a popular activity for rural residents and city dwellers alike.

Look up local or urban farms and find a way to get your hands dirty tending to the produce of the land. Find some places that grow eye-healthy foods like carrots, spinach, or blueberries, and dig in to support your eye health. You might be surprised that farming can be quite the workout!

Boot camp

Need an extra boost to intensify your exercise routine? Fitness boot camps are filled with motivated fitness companions who can help you hang in there as your instructor pushes you through a muscle-burning, heart-pounding routine.

“Whatever you choose, remember that your overall health has a large impact on the health of your eyes,” Dr. Calder explains. “The more you get your heart pumping, the lower your risk for health-related eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and hypertension.”  

So what are you waiting for? Get out and get moving!

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