Friday, January 22, 2010

22. Ping Pong

The Idea: Yesterday's post described how the process of play can stimulate the eye-brain inter-sensory connection. Here are some more eye exercises in the form of games that kids and adults play all over the word.

Set Up: You'll need a smooth wall, a ping pong paddle and ball. If you're doing this with a friend, you might as well play a proper game of ping pong on a table. If your vision prevents you from playing ping pong, try something with a bigger racquet and ball—tennis, squash, badminton, etc. If this is still too challenging, use a soccer ball and a wall outdoors.

How To: This exercise has several variation based on the above options. All work best as vision exercises if they're done regularly—more than once a week:
• Ping Pong (or Tennis/Squash/Racquetball) for One: Practice hitting the ball with the paddle or racquet so that it bounces off the wall, intercepting it as it comes back, keeping score by seeing how many consecutive hits you can make.
Ping Pong (or Tennis/Squash/Racquetball) for Two: Simply play ping pong on a ping pong table or any of the other sports on their usual courts.
• Soccer for One: Stand about 3 meters (10 feet) from a wall and kick the ball so that it bounces off the wall, intercepting it as it bounces back. Gradually work you way down to balls of smaller sizes, kicking, throwing, or paddling the, back and forth.

What's Going On: The movement of the ball traveling quickly toward and away from the eyes exercises focal abilities and depth perception, as well as stereoscopic vision.

Testimonial: One of high school teachers had become more myopic from all the reading she had to do in college. She knew this because as the semester dragged on, she had to sit closer and closer to the front of the room during lectures. She took up playing ping pong and tennis every day and soon regained her distance vision. Likewise, when I was a kid struggling with an eye disease that I did not yet understand, I played the soccer-ball-against-the-wall game outside and also practiced throwing and hitting a tennis ball against the walls in the hallway of my mom's apartment. I did these things intuitively, some piece of me knowing that that this was what I needed to do to preserve my vision. It worked, to some extent.

No comments:

Post a Comment