Most people know that working out once or twice a week helps tone muscles and keep the body in shape. Unfortunately no one ever stops to think about the eye having muscles - and a lot of them. It is important to exercise your eyes for the same reasons it's vital to work out. But people generally can't measure how well they focus or how well their eyes are coordinated.
Eye exercises can improve your visual skills such as reaction time tracking and eye-hand/eye-body coordination. They can also help make you more productive while reading or working at the computer - two main culprits of eye strain. The following are two exercises that can help strengthen eye coordination.
Stand or sit in a relaxed posture. Hold a pencil at arm's length away from you and focus both eyes on that pencil. Begin to slowly move the pencil toward your face keeping your eyes fixed on it the entire way to your nose. Then move the pencil back away from your face until it reaches the starting position. If your eyes drift off the pencil begin the exercise again. For optimal effectiveness repeat this exercise ten times.
Stand or sit in a relaxed posture. Hold a pencil in front of you about one foot away from your face. Focus both eyes on that pencil. Begin by moving the pencil to the right in an arc so that the pencil will eventually be parallel to your ear. Without moving your head keep your eyes fixed on the pencil until it's out of our field of vision. Continue focusing on the pencil as you return it to the starting position and move it to the left side. Repeat this exercise five times for each side.
(Note**: It is not uncommon for the target to become blurry as it approaches your nose. Try to keep the tip of the pencil from doubling.)
Please keep in mind that neither of these exercises will actually improve your vision or reduce your reliance on corrective lenses. In addition these exercises do not replace the necessary annual visits to your eye care practitioner which are of unparalleled importance for eye health. They are short simple movements that can help relieve strain or fatigue and contribute to the overall health of your eyes.