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Your friend crosses the finish line first. A smiling child blows out her birthday candles. The sun sets in the Smoky Mountains. Fully 70 percent of the sensory info that defines our world is visual. The images we see help construct setting, mood, and memory. As with all our senses, what we see can insulate us from harm (train coming) and envelop us with delight (that fabulous Judith Leiber clutch that's been calling your name).
To keep those images in clear focus, you know the drill: Wear sunglasses, eat right, and don't smoke. Unfortunately, aging plays a role in vision loss, too. "For many, by age 40, the ability to see objects close-up becomes distorted," says Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D., nutritional scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University. Our eyes also respond more slowly to dim light. The good news is you can protect and perk up your peepers.
Try some eye candy. Foods rich in nutrients, such as green leafy vegetables, fish, and fresh fruit, will keep your eyes healthy.
Rise and shine. Do outdoor activities such as jogging early in the morning, when pollution levels tend to be lower. Always wear your shades. And change your route to give your eyes fresh stimuli.
Go 3-D. The Earth may not be flat, but most of what we look at -- from computers to TV -- is. Give your eyes a 3-D workout: Spend a few minutes with a Magic Eye book. Or look out your window at the layers -- the window blinds, the trees outside, the sky behind the trees. Who knew your life was so deep?
Paint with your eyes. Draw this magazine with your eyes. Go up and around the page, around your hands holding it, the image on your page. Or follow a goldfish as it darts around its bowl. Instant eye exercise!
See more clearly. Just a few minutes of resting your eyes can have a big impact on how well you see. Cover your open eyes with your palms until you can see only darkness. When you take your hands away, your world will be brighter and crisper.
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