Explore the health and wellbeing issues concerning equestrianism and eye disease.
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Learn about Equestrianism and Eye Disease Host: Humans and horses have been enjoying each others company arguably for the last 6,000 years. They share a history steeped in battles, triumphs, discovery and sore muscles. To the untrained eye, horse and equestrian appear graceful and fluid as they move effortlessly across the arena. But underneath all that stage calm, there is some awesome muscle action taking place. It's a superb way to keep fit. Every muscle group in your body gets a workout when riding a horse. But in particular, the deep abdominal and dorsal regions get a look in enhancing core strength and toning up that six-pack. The adductor muscles in the thighs, the ones you cling on to the horse with are always engaged and become well-defined. Equestrianism provides a moderate cardio workout. It's great for people who can't raise their heart rates to ultra high levels. This is a strain-free way to keep fit. And of course, your coordination is enhanced and mental focus increased as you concentrate on balancing on a moving platform. An equestrian develops superb postural muscles while at the same time becoming flexible in the lower back and hip area. It doesn’t look like it that an equestrian will burn as many calories in a one-hour session as a jogger does in a half hour jog. If you do this everyday, chances are you’ll never have to step foot inside a gym. And aside from the physical benefits of equestrianism, there is also the joy, friendship and trust between horse and rider that makes this pursuit a tonic for the heart and soul. Fresh air, sunshine, four legged friendship and a wonderful workout, equestrianism has it all really. The face of eye disease is not necessarily an old one. Visual degeneration can happen at any age but the good news is if detected early you may be able to salvage your remaining eyesight. Don’t leave it until you experience scotomatous, these fuzzy patches in your vision to do something about it. Have regular eye tests especially from the age of 35 onwards. If you have dark patches or pieces of vision missing from your central field of vision, you could be suffering from macular degeneration of glaucoma along with hundreds of thousands of other people. As soon as you detect a change in your vision, take action. Don’t just dismiss it as a sign of old age. You can’t check the condition of your retinas in the mirror. A professional optometrist needs to dilate your pupils and illuminate them to get a good look right down deep at the back of the eye. Denise Mabey: It makes me feel very despondent to see them being laden in by a friend or a relative and to discover that they had a condition which would have been preventable by drops or laser treatment. But now we ant bring back that eyesight and we have to register them as blind or partially sighted. Host: Glaucoma is another disease that affects a fair percentage of the population. Diabetics, people who suffer migraines, short sighted people and people with a history of steroid use should be especially aware of this optic nerve destroying condition. There is no cure for either macular degeneration or glaucoma. But you can slow its progress with medicated drops, laser, and surgery. It's best to keep your eye on the ball when it comes to the health of your eyes. Tests are pain-free and pay-free in most countries. Always wear protective head gear when riding. Your head may be three meters from the ground, that’s a long way down.