Better Vision leads to Better Movement

What you see, depends on How you see it.

Think , Breath, See, Do

Breath, Think, See, Do

See , Think, Breath, Do

The first three seem interchangeable however the “Do” is almost always last.

Yet when we exercise or work out the priority seems to work on the “DO”. The muscles seem to take precedent, Why?

In fact you could even add an Oral component before the “DO”.

An example being the grunts that a tennis player does when Serving to add more power.

When we exercise/workout we must remember that there are four elements we must focus on while doing our drills:

1: Physical

2: Mental

3: Oral

4: VISUAL

To often we place a priority on one over the other. Yet for as much as they seem independent from each other, for us to really experience success, they must work together, usually with Vision leading the way.

At our Goaltending classroom sessions I will always ask the coaches attending what they feel is the most important ingredient needed to play the position? They will usually answer some of the following. Size, speed, flexibility, etc. I will then pick a coach out and tell them to close their eyes. I will then proceed to toss a Nerf ball their way and tell them to catch it. Stating that Vision is the most important, for no matter how fluid, how fast or how big, if the right visual cues aren’t there, the harder it is to have success.

Vision tells us Where to go, How to get there and What to do when we get there!

As strange as it seems or as ironically as it may seem, our Parkinson’s diagnosis will try and diminish our abilities in the same four elements required in our workout.

This is my sedge way into the usage of Vision and its importance in helping us Parkies with our movement issues, like balance, freezing. gait issues, and posture.

When Freezing occurs what is it that we do to initiate movement?

It is usually a Visual cue that will trigger the movement.

Parkinson’s takes it toll on our Physical, Mental, Oral and Visual aspects in our day to day lives.

Our ease of movement depends on the quality of information our brain receives from the visual cues we provide it. So in a sense What and How we see things dictates how we move.

When we exercise we often train physically so that our body( muscular and skeletal) will perform the tasks that we demand of it. Yet often those demands are distorted because of how we use our vision.

Take for example when boxing and hitting that big punching bag. We shouldn’t be happy just hitting the bag. To often we look past our target . Our focus should be more refined. Selecting a smaller target and watching your hand actually make contact with that smaller target.

We often exercise our brain, providing it with more information and data to try and improve its capabilities.

There are Voice exercises that we can do to improve volume and tonal qualities.

Yet we often neglect that most variable and selective sense… VISION!

Vision may be the most Variable and selective of all the senses.

Almost all of our daily movements will occur from visual cues that we have provided. It therefore makes sense that our visual ability either enhances or inhibits our ability to perform a physical task.

Our visual system ultimately determines the efficiency of our success and directs the position and actions of our movements.

Therefore the more effective our Visual system the more effective we become in our movement.

Peak visual systems provide quick accurate, consistent and automatic information to the brain. The reactions that transpire will like wise be the same.

A major input to a performance breakdown is ineffective and inefficient visual Processing ability.

These skills can be improved by adjusting our attention to the visual aspects that we employ and use during our day.

Visual inefficiencies and visual fatigue can be reduced if not eliminated from our day if we remember to exercise our Vision.

Visual Training will provide the following:

Recognition: More time to react properly. Accurate, quick and consistent movement.

Concentration: Focus on the task on hand, clear vision, changing distances, holding action, quick reactions.

Accurate Identification: Make better decisions.

Visual Coordination: Tracking what is going around you more accurately, following the flow that moves around you, and making your movements more consistent.

Increased Focus: Reading the smaller details around you.

Visual Acuity: Sharper vision while in motion. Following events around you with less confusion and more clarity.

Peripheral Vision: The soft visions that occurs around and beside you while looking straight ahead.

Central Vision: Used to read, drive. Allows you to see shapes colours and details clearly and sharply.

Eye-Mind-Body = Speed; See and react faster, accuracy, speed, consistency, endurance and depth perception.

Visual Skills you can Train

Dynamic Visual Acuity: The skill and ability to see things clearly while they are in motion. Some people have great acuity when still, but add motion to the mix and acuity worsens.

Eye Focus flexibility: Involves the ability to change focus quickly and accurately from one distance to another.

Fusion Flexibility and Stamina: The ability to keep both eyes working together under high speed and stressful situations. Using both eyes together, smoothly, equally, simultaneously and accurately.

Depth Perception: Ability to quickly and accurately judge distance and speed of an object. Also involves judging relative distances of objects and seeing and moving accurately in the three dimensional space.

Eye tracking; Ability to follow a moving object smoothly and accurately with both eyes. The ability to keep your eye on an object no matter how fast it is moving.

Visual Concentration: Ability to screen out distractions and stay focused on a target.

Fixation: Ability to quickly and accurately locate and inspect, with both eyes a series of stationary objects, one after another.

Visualization: Ability to picture events with your minds eye or imagination. A far as the brain is concerned imagining it is the same as doing it. Visualization can boost confidence and provide great focus.

Researchers have found that the same areas of the brain light up during the execution or visualization of a performance.

Some Sample drills:

Visual Acuity: Cut different size letters out of a magazine and stick them to a stereo turntable and try to identify them from arms length at various speeds, As it gets easier use smaller letters.

Visual Concentration: Practice while someone is trying to distract you or by moving at erratic intervals.

Tracking: You must be able to follow objects with out much head movement. Try following objects while balancing a book on your head.

Eye/Hand: Try jumping up and down while some one tosses a ball to you from a variety of heights.

Visual memory: Try paging through a magazine, glancing briefly at the page, turn the page and then try to reconstruct the page from memory.

Peripheral vision: Increase your ability to see things while you are not looking directly at them. Try watching television with your turned to one side then the other.

Reaction time: Stand facing a wall with your back to a friend, Have the friend toss a tennis ball to you. Vary the heights , use both hands, You could put numbers on the balls and try and yell the number on the ball as you try and catch it.

Focus flexibility: Hang a newspaper page on a wall at eye level about 15 feet away from you and have a similar one in front of you about 15 inches away from your face at the same height but slightly to one side so you can see both pages. Focus on the headline on the page on the wall and then quickly change your focus to the page near your face. Keep changing your focus between the two pages.

Depth perception: Have a friend hold a straw parallel to the ground about two feet in front of you. Practice inserting a tooth pick into the hole in the straw. Vary Positions of the straw. Use both hands.

It is never to late to start paying attention to your vision habits when working out!

Don’t say no, let the “‘EYES” help you in living a life with Parkinson’s!

Published by Parkinson's My Super Power

My name is Ian Robertson, I was diagnosed with parkinson's May of 2012. I started taking medication May 2016. I am active. I run, I dance, I curl, I hike, I bike, I skate and I am a Instructor for hockey goaltenders I am self employed. I married in 1982 and have three children, and 8 grandchildren.

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