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Exercise helps you look better—and it may help you see better, too. A recent study found that people who take part in moderate to vigorous physical activity may significantly lower their risk of glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in the U.S.
The most physically active subjects had a 73% decline in the risk of developing the disease compared with those who were the least active. Researchers speculate that there may be a relationship between blood flow and pressure inside the eye.
Taking 7,000 steps each day has the same effect as doing about 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise five days a week, according to the study. The faster people walked and the more steps they took, the lower their glaucoma risk was.
“Our research suggests that it is not only the act of exercising that may be associated with decreased glaucoma risk, but that people who exercise with higher speed and more steps of walking or running may even further decrease their glaucoma risk compared to people who exercise at lower speeds with less steps,” said Victoria L. Tseng, M.D., Ph.D., one of the study’s authors.