Healthy Aging Tips from Sit and Be Fit's Mary Ann Wilson RN
Sit and Be Fit TV host, Mary Ann Wilson RN

Eye exercises are an important part of any fall prevention training program. We depend on our ocular system (vision) for balance and for keeping us safe in different environments. In addition to improving neck range of motion, the 3 exercises shared in this blog are designed to strengthen the eyes and improve the vestibular system (inner ear), which is another important system we depend on for balance.

Practice these exercises from a seated position to begin with, in case they cause dizziness. Those with good balance can challenge themselves by doing the eye exercises from a standing position. Be sure to stand next to a chair or wall if additional support is needed. As with all exercises, begin by getting the body into good postural alignment. Pay special attention to the placement of the head over the spine. Make sure the chin is pulled back to avoid a forward head position. Maintain this alignment throughout the exercises.

Three Eye Exercises 

  1. Travel with your eyes in a slow arch-type movement, allowing your head to follow, as if tracing a rainbow. Move your gaze in this arch pattern from one side of the room to the other. Repeat 4-12 times as tolerated. Next, find a spot on the wall directly in front of you and fix your gaze on that spot as you move your head back and forth rhythmically in the arch pattern. Continue the head movement for 10-20 seconds while maintaining a fixed gaze.
  2. Travel with your eyes from one side of the room to the other, allowing your head to follow, as if watching a tennis match. Repeat 4-12 times as tolerated. Next, find a spot on the wall directly in front of you and fix your gaze on that spot as you move your head side-to-side. Continue the head movement for 10-20 seconds while maintaining a fixed gaze.
  3. Travel with your eyes in a wide circle, allowing your head to follow, from the floor, to one side of the room, to the ceiling, and to the other side of the room. (Note: When looking toward the ceiling, avoid hyper-extending the neck by tilting the head up only slightly.) Circle 2 times in one direction and 2 times in the other direction. Repeat 4-8 times as tolerated. Next, find a spot on the wall directly in front of you and fix your gaze on that spot as you move your head in the circular pattern. Continue the head movement for 10-20 seconds while maintaining a fixed gaze.

Recommended Sit and Be Fit workouts to strengthen core muscles and improve balance:

Sit and Be Fit Chair Exercise Basics

Sit and Be Fit Balance & Fall Prevention

Sit and Be Fit Season 12

Sit and Be Fit Season 13

Sit and Be Fit Season 14

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3 Comments

  1. I was flipping channels and came upon your program Sit and Be Fit. I was watching the foot exercises and really thought that it would help me. I am not 65 and cannot do as much as when I was younger. I forgot what channel this show was on. Can you provide a listing. I am also going to save this page, as I see more exercises, like the eye exercises.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      We are so glad you found Sit and Be Fit! If you copy and paste this link into your browser, http://www.sitandbefit.org/watch/where-we-air/, it will take you to the page on our website where you can access broadcast schedules for all viewing areas. If you would like to talk with us directly, give us a call, toll free at 1-888-678-9438, M-F 10am-4pm pacific time. We would love to help you. Wishing you the very best in health and happiness!

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