If you’re eating food that saps your energy, makes you sleepy, spikes your blood sugar, makes you constipated, or otherwise makes you feel bad in any other way, you might have a hard time applying the right kind of energy towards making subtle changes in the way you use your eyes. You need to be at your best for this to work. The purpose of eating is to create energy that you can use, and if the food you’re eating isn’t the best for that purpose, change your diet.
For the last twenty years we were brainwashed with the food pyramid. A few years ago the US Department of Agriculture lowered their recommendations for grains a little, resulting in nearly equal portions of fruit, vegetables, grains and protein, and still low fat. Are they still wrong?
Now you’ve probably heard of the alternative diets that have gone around lately. Paleo, Atkins, Mediterranean, Alkaline, South Beach… not to mention the classic ones like vegan and raw food. There are some good things about these alternatives. They recognize problems with the “Standard American Diet” and try to fix them. And I’ve tried some of them. It’s tough to know what’s best, because when you change it you might be doing one or two things better and see a result from the new diet, and so you get over-excited when your new diet actually is not a good choice long-term either and causes new problems.
Some of it is going to be how you react according to your genetics, maybe your blood type, history of disease, bodyfat %, muscle mass, metabolism, etc. But the important thing is pay attention and notice how well it works for your system. If your diet isn’t helping you meet your goals for body composition, addressing a disease, giving you enough (good) energy, and anything else that diet has a major impact on, then your diet needs improving, and you are probably suffering additional effects that you didn’t realize are caused by your diet. As a rule, if you aren’t regularly declining food in most situations (in the United States, anyway) because it doesn’t fit your diet, you’re probably eating a lot of crap.
The thing about exercise is you not only get the benefit of better circulation and overall better health in countless ways, but if you’re on the right kind of program you also learn to use your body efficiently. The body is a unit, and it shouldn’t surprise you that if one aspect is deteriorating it may affect other parts of your body, including your eyes and brain. And the same themes in learning to use your body right translate into learning to use your eyes right. You learn to relax your muscles. You learn to perform only the appropriate amount of effort to accomplish a task. You learn to stay focused, set goals, and not give up. And of course better circulation and relaxed muscles will mean that you don’t have such a general pattern of tension that your eyes will get caught up in. And you’ll have confidence that you’re actually in control of your body and can figure this whole vision improvement thing out.
With that in mind, I’m a big fan of Crossfit, specifically the workouts where you push your limits of stamina (prolonged high-intensity activity). Stamina can be physical or mental, and when you get in the habit of pushing your physical stamina, to do so you have to keep pushing yourself mentally. So when you do vision exercises, which are just mental, better stamina means you don’t have a problem with keeping up a confusing or uncomfortable exercise. In other words, you learn to not be a lazy ass and how to persist and get it done. Read more about it in my post, “A Modern Workout Program.”