Fit Eyes
Macular Degeneration

New research reveals that regular exercise helps to prevent a type of age related macular degeneration - an eye disease that can cause blindness.

A Fitness Vision

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Regular exercise doesn’t just keep us fit and slim. New research published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology reveals it also helps to prevent a particular type of age related macular degeneration – an eye disease that can cause blindness.

The study included almost 4,000 American adults and looked at the number of cases of age-related macular degeneration that occurred over 15 years.

The researchers found that those adults with an active lifestyle were 70 percent less likely to develop the condition compared to those who had sedentary lifestyles. The authors say other factors such as diet may explain the findings but they add that exercise helps to reduce inflammation and abnormalities in the cells that line the arteries, both of which are linked to the condition.

People who are physically active tend to be biologically younger than those who are lazy, and this could be important as age-related macular degeneration is associated with ageing.

WLR says…

This is an interesting study, although more research needs to be carried out to confirm the findings.

One of the encouraging findings from this study is that it wasn’t gym workouts or exhausting activities that were protective. The benefits were seen in those people who regularly walked and were more active in their daily life.

As a guideline, everyone should aim to do 30 minutes of moderately intense activity five times a week – that’s the equivalent of walking fast. But if you really want to burn calories, you should aim to exercise for a little longer and work as hard as you can.

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