Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Link Between Lifting Weights & Glaucoma

If you hold your breath while lifting weights, you're putting 50 percent more pressure on your optic nerves, according to research published in this month's Archives of Ophthalmology, and reported by the LA Times. Damage to these nerves is related to Glaucoma (though the LA Times piece isn't entirely clear how).

If you're breathing normally while strength training, intraocular eye pressure goes up 62 percent. But if you're holding your breath, it goes up 90 percent. Doctors recommend people who strength-train regularly be tested for glaucoma.

I wonder if this breathing-pressure link has anything to do with relieving stress. Ever noticed how, when you're stressed out, or can't work out a problem, all you have to do is sit back, take a deep breath and the problem's solved, you're thinking more clearly or the stress is gone?

I'll keep my not-so-pressured eye out for more news like this and let you know what I come up with.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.