How are those New Year’s Resolutions holding up? Whether they’ve fallen by the wayside or still going strong, we’re willing to bet there’s one muscle group that’s not included in this year’s wellness plans: Your eyes.
In his monthly wellness column, Vance Ferrigno, The Cliffs Senior Exercise Physiologist, tells all about some of the least exercised — but most important — muscles in your body.
Exercising your eyes? Yes, you read that right.
The eyes are controlled by a set of muscles that can be exercised just like any other muscle to improve your vision. (Note that I didn’t say eyesight!)
VISION VERSUS EYESIGHT
Vision and eyesight are not the same thing. Eyesight is simply the ability to see something clearly. This is what the Snellen 20/20 Chart tests.
Vision, on the other hand, can be defined as the understanding of what is seen. It involves the ability to take incoming visual information, process that information and obtain meaning from it.
The eyes need to perform numerous visual skills including the following:
- Dynamic Visual Acuity allows you to clearly see moving objects — pretty important for everyday tasks such as driving.
- Tracking allows you to track the path and trajectory of a moving object. Tracking is also important for tasks like driving, but also assists you in playing catch or hitting a tennis ball.
- Focusing is the ability to rapidly and accurately change your focus from one distance to another. Sound familiar to any golfers on the tee?
- Peripheral Vision is being able to see the outward extremities of your peripheral field while most of your concentration is focused on what’s in front of you.
- Vergence Flexibility and Stamina concerns both eyes working together especially when under stressful conditions.
- Depth Perception consists of judging the speed and distance of objects moving toward or away from you.
- Imagery is the ability to see “in your mind’s eye.”
- Sequencing represents the organization of the visual information you see and processing how important they are.
- Hand-Eye and Hand-Foot Coordination is necessary for most sports. This is the ability to process visual information and respond with your body accordingly.
Although there is much more to the miraculous nature of vision that far exceeds the point of this brief article, the exercise of the muscles that control your eyes shouldn’t be overlooked in your daily exercise routine. This is especially important for avid golfers.
THE GOLFERS APPLICATION
For all you golfers out there, working on the ability to keep your focus on the golf ball while your shoulders are turning and slightly moving your head away is critical to striking the ball with precision.
Try these three exercises to get started: