Happy Eyes:  Get Time Outside!

One thing I’ve learned from most of the Internet talk about eyesight, as well as the optometrist office … everybody is entirely hung up on prescriptions, and close-up.

Which, that is low hanging fruit.

We too talk about those things.  Perhaps we do it a bit more methodically, but close-up and prescriptions are valid topics.

But not just them.

We talk about prescriptions and close-up because that’s a great starting point to address strain and start exposing you to tools you’ll need.  You won’t quit your job to get bette eyesight, so we have to work around some of your lifestyle requirements.

In the end though, close-up and prescriptions won’t by themselves fix your eyesight.

They’ll lessen the problem.  That’s as far as that will take us.

What we’ll talk about off and on in these sessions, is outdoor time.  While I promised you in the pre-sign-up e-mails that you can keep your lifestyle, we do have to make some concessions if we want healthy eyes.

We’re doing some magic here already, in just keeping all your close-up hours.

But somewhere, we also need to do something for our eyes.  You know what those two cute little orbs are for, in your head, right?

They’re designed primarily for … distance vision.

They’re also designed to function in a specific environment.  One that’s not at zero percent ambient humidity, courtesy of big office HVAC systems (air con).  One that has full spectrum UV light, which science is finding really affects the biology of your eye.

We’ll dive into more of the science a bit later.  For now, let’s keep it simple:

You need outdoor time.

Again here, there are no miracles.  We’re getting close to them, by improving your vision even if you spend eight hours a day in front of a screen.  That’s amazing that we can even do that.

But if you don’t add outdoor time, you’re going to improve very, very slowly.  (at best)

What’s the goal?

An hour a day.  Find an hour every day to get outside (barring rain storms and tsunamis).

I know.  For some, that seems a tall order.

Get a dog!  😉

Maybe don’t get a dog.  But let’s start somewhere.  What do you think you can do, for an hour a day outside?  Maybe get off the subway a station earlier in the morning, get a bit longer walk to work?  Maybe walk to the park instead of drive?

Think for a moment, where you can find that hour.

If that seems tough, then think about what you think you can do.

45 minutes?  Great!  Make it 30.  Whatever you think you can do, make it a little less.  Just to be sure that it doesn’t push the envelope too far, for a start.  (this is a great trick to use with any new habits you are looking to acquire)

The key here is to figure out what you can give for your eyes, and then make a hard commitment to it.  Whatever you do every day for the next month, will become a habit.

Not letting excuses or “tough days” break the habit building process is key.

And you need that hour outside.

Make it two half our segments, if need be.  If you can make it a half hour in the morning, and 20 minutes after 2 hours at the computer, and a half hour in the evening .. that much better.  If it all adds up to two hours a day, really that would be excellent.

But I’d rather take one hour than none at all.

We’re starting this off just for habit building.  Later on we’ll add some active focus, and a different (lower) distance prescription, to start building that habit into some real eyesight improving experiences.

All real vision improvement happens during distance vision.

Makes sense, if you think about it.

You are trying to get better distance vision, after all.  A lot of people and sites and books are entirely preoccupied trying to fix your distance vision, without actually involving any distance vision.

That’s quite paradoxical.  And naturally, it doesn’t work.

The Bates crowd thinks that strange ideas like “palming” (sticking your hands in front of your eyes), or blinking or rolling your eyes will give you better distance vision.  Other think that wearing plus lenses while reading will give you better distance vision (as if).  And others yet believe that pills will give you better distance vision.

But no.  Distance vision will give you better distance vision.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves.  For right now, baby steps.  We need an outdoor habit first.  Some fresh air, some full spectrum natural UV light (don’t go looking in the sun, just normal shared outdoor light!).

Action Item

Plan outdoor time into your days.  Figure out specifically what will make those automatic.  In particular outdoor time that will fit into your day as part of your existing lifestyle, will be most effective.

Look at your existing routes and think about which of those might be accomplished comfortably on foot.  (or if need be, make up something new)

Simple, yes?

Like I said before, a lot of things will seem obvious in hindsight.  Don’t let this fool you though, if we don’t do the simple things, we won’t get progress.  The real key is in taking action!


– Jake

Session:  Audio Track

Session:  Video Stream

Supplemental to the text session.  Do both!

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