Up to My Eyeballs In It: Eye Exercises

Up to My Eyeballs In It: Eye Exercises

By Janelle Harris

It's the start of a new season, and with warm weather fast approaching, gyms and fitness centers everywhere are ceremoniously overcrowded with people preparing to show some summer skin. A chorus of huffs and puffs fill the air as reborn joggers take to the streets for the first time since, well, this time last year. From now until barbecue season hits full stride, almost everyone with a pulse is a reformed health nut—except me, of course.

I prefer a more low-key approach to working out, concentrating on parts of the body I find far more precious than my quads and abs—like my eyes. When has a well-toned set of obliques ever helped me spot a sale sign in a Bloomingdale's storefront three blocks away? How often have I been able to use my ripped biceps to exchange irritated glances with one of my friends when I'm getting bad customer service? The answer is a big fat never. Fitness has its place and all, but as far as I'm concerned, it's all about the eyes. And I, for one, will make darn sure that mine are in great shape.

So I exercise them. Avoiding the no-pain-no-gain method, I go with the boy-he-sure-is-easy-to-look-at-for-a-really-really-long-time technique. Some call it "guy watching", but I like to think of it as "active art appreciation". Believe you me, it can get pretty demanding, depending on what angles I have to work to get a good view of handsome passersby. Honestly, my man-watching eye workout is just as intense as doing a set on one of those overcomplicated nautilus machines that tone several muscles groups at once and make people sweat like a whole herd of pigs. Yuck.

Because I'm not an ogler (What am I? A construction worker?), I stretch my peripherals to the limit trying to get good side glimpses. Now that it's getting warm and the fellas are emerging from winter hibernation, I can keep up a steady side-to-side eye sweep that would make any trainer proud (if I were crunching or lifting, that is). If he's tall and the sun is out, I'm forced to squint and blink, which of course engages all of the muscles from the nose up. And if we actually lock gazes, I go into full-on nonverbal flirt mode, pulling my brows up and curving my eyes down into one big va-va-voom expression that reels them in like Jessica Rabbit. What can I say? If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then my shutters are wide open.

Sometimes my eye exercises do involve other muscle groups, like when I have to look over my shoulder to return an admiring stare. Now, that, my friends, can be intense. Not only am I maintaining eye contact, but I'm trying to walk backward and be sexy at the same time—all while balancing myself in a pair of four inch stilettos, mind you. Ironman himself couldn't perform a more impressive feat. Not that any of us would be interested in seeing him try to execute that one.

So, to all of my single sisters, I implore you—skip a day at the gym to perform some pleasant vision exercise on the streets, in a café, at the mall. Wherever you've had tried and true success spotting good-looking man traffic, make that your impromptu fitness training camp. For your eyes, anyway. Take in the beauty around you like you're on a nature hike. After all, isn't that what we really have eyes for?

Adventure Girl's Down Under Valentine

Adventure Girl's latest journey begins when she receives a mysterious Valentine from a secret admirer – follow along as the clues lead her across the Outback!


More >
Adventure Girl in Italy

Our heroine is bound for Italy and another amazing experience. Follow along as the adventure unfolds.


More >
Adventure Girl and the Great Summer Escape

Lauren was just a mild-mannered college grad until she used the "Where can 14 hours take you?" Facebook application. Now, she's about to embark on a life-changing adventure.


More >


OPTI® eSTORIES is a place for eyes, of course - a forum for sharing tips and stories, for offering new vision and perspective, for discussing lifestyle and image, all through the window of our eyes. More than that, though, OPTI® is about celebrating the beauty within all of us, and the way our eyes can be just as unique as we are. Fun and feisty, elegant and soulful. It's all here. It's all OPTI®.

If you have any questions or comments about our articles - or a suggestion for future articles - we'd love to hear from you.