Lace up your running shoes to lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness among those over age 65. Affecting 12 million Americans, AMD may blur vision. Fortunately, exciting new research suggests that lengthening your daily run could result in significant sight savings!
The study in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science compared exercise habits and AMD incidence among 40,000 male and female runners, over the course of almost 8 years, and found a lower risk of the eye ailment among those who racked up the most running miles. For example, those who ran between 1.2 and 2.4 miles daily enjoyed a 19% reduction, those who ran between 2.4 miles and 4.8 enjoyed a 42% reduction, and those who ran over 4.8 miles per day achieved an impressive 54% reduction.
Going the “extra mile” will also give a bigger boost to your HDL “good” cholesterol: every extra 10 minutes spent exercising yields a 3% drop in heart attack risk. Running, cycling or briskly walking for an hour on a regular basis can also turn back the clock, improving the body’s ability to transport oxygen to the muscles (a function that declines with age). Such vigorous activities will also halve men’s risk of Parkinson’s.
Bonus: Choose carrots, spinach, Romaine and sweet potatoes to support your eyes. Such low-calorie, high-fiber foods will also help you avoid obesity, a serious risk factor in several eye diseases.
Published June 1, 2009