Accessible Fitness, more choices for more people

Fitness has always been a concern with regard to both mental and physical health regardless of age, gender, or any other variables that make each one of us unique. And for those in the blind community, fitness is every bit as much—if not more—important.

Exercise for the visually impaired is something that should be incorporated into a weekly, if not daily, routine for a variety of reasons that are both similar and different from people within the sighted community. For those with total loss of sight as well as for those who are low sighted, a lack of regular exercise can bring on a host of other issues, including weight gain, sluggishness, and perhaps worst of all for many, insomnia or a circadian rhythm that has been thrown completely off track.

A quality workout done at the right time of day and at the right pace to meet your unique physical and mental needs is just what the doctor may have forgotten to order. For many blind people, fitness has been a challenge: without someone to guide you and without the ability to drive yourself to the gym, it becomes obvious why so many visually impaired individuals give up—but with the BlindAlive line of Fitness Workouts for blind people, you’ll never have to depend on anyone else again.

Yoga and Strength Training with wieghts for blind people along with a variety of other cardiovascular exercises help our bodies stay toned, help us gain muscle mass and lose weight, but most of all, can help lead a blind person away from a sense of helplessness.

Are you ready to sweat? Come get healthy and leave all your notions of not being able to get fit due to your visual impairment behind with BlindAlive!

What's On Your Keyring

It's likely we've all heard the famous Capitol One question: "What's in your wallet?" The assumption is that if you have their card on hand, you have what you need for emergencies and eventualities. Today, I'd like to pose a different question: "What's on your keyring?" With the investment of a little time and even less money, you can be sure that, from a health standpoint, you are ready for anything.

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Want to Kick Your Workouts into High Gear?

I have been asked to give a rundown of our more challenging programs for those who are ready to move things up a level and for those who are already in great shape. I tend to talk more about the beginner or gentle workouts because those are the ones most people want, and the ones I like myself.

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Taming Charley’s Horse

If you’ve ever been stopped in your tracks by a muscle cramp, also called a Charley horse, you know how debilitating they can be. Generally, they seem to happen at night, and involve the legs, although they can happen any time, anywhere. The causes are many, and can include: overworking muscles, sitting too long in one place, dehydration, and use of diuretics that cause the loss of potassium. If this latter is the case, you might wish to talk to your doctor about a “potassium-sparing diuretic.” Of course, paying attention to muscle pain, moving around frequently, and staying hydrated will help.

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Accessing Innocence

This morning, while contemplating the phrase, “I am innocent.” I began to feel that familiar hard knot of anxiety in my solar plexus. I sat with the feeling to let it clarify itself. It began to claw its way up to the surface of my consciousness. I knew I needed to pay attention this time, no more locking those old feelings in a concrete vault in my gut.

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Savor the Flavor!

"Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments." -- Wayne Dyer

How many times have you found yourself finishing a bag or box of a favorite, semi-forbidden food only to think: “How did I get here?” If so, you may have lost or forgotten the art of savoring what you are eating.

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Could a Weighted Blanket be the Answer?

The year I turned six, I asked for what was probably the most unusual birthday present ever. I announced that I wanted a lead apron like they used at the dentist’s office. For those who may be unfamiliar, this is made of some indeterminate material on the outside, and presumably has small grains of lead inside, which makes it so heavy. It is draped over the patient’s torso to prevent harmful radiation during X-rays. I couldn’t have cared less about radiation at that age, but I loved how the lead apron made me feel. I have always tended to be cold, and it made me feel warm and somehow secure. It wasn’t that I generally felt insecure, but that I felt so much better for the brief times I wore it.

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Push-up Modifications For People Who Hate Push-ups

This is kind of embarrassing for me to say, but I can’t do a push-up. I am talking about the regulation push-up where you start on the floor and push your body up and down with your arms. I have a feeling I am not alone in this, so I decided to confess. I have a feeling I may never be able to brag about how many push-ups I can do.

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Good Health in a Can?

I never claimed to be a normal child, and this was evidenced one year when I asked for, among other things, a can of sardines for Christmas. I'm serious; I really did! I wasn't sure if I actually wanted to eat them, but I kept hearing about people and things packed in like sardines, and I wanted to see the magic for myself.

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Do You Think About Your Bones?

Bones, bones, bones! I have become obsessed with my bones. As many of you know, I had treatments for breast cancer in 2016. It seems that a side-effect of the treatments has made my bones more fragile than they ought to be. Naturally, I am a big believer in being an advocate for myself, so I began my research. I am not one to believe everything a doctor tells me, so I needed to find out for myself. I thought you might like to hear what I learned.

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Empowering Choices

Here at BlindAlive, we’re all about providing options that will help people lead healthier lives. One of the ways we do this is through the workouts we offer. Yet another is to provide you with information about available choices. One option that has recently come to our attention is the My Workouts skill, which is available on the Amazon Echo. Just say, “Alexa, enable My Workouts,” and you are guided through setting up a customized workout, starting a generic workout, or obtaining descriptions of specific exercises.

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Better Together

I love how ideas spread, grow, and flourish. Here’s just one example of how this happened on our Eyes-Free Fitness list. One of our members, Mary, posted the following scenario:

“I’m still in an exercise slump.  Maybe I’m looking for motivation in all the wrong places.  I haven’t found it yet.  I’ve tried being mean to myself, being nice to myself, all kinds of tricks.  None of them has worked so far.

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Functional Fitness Made Simple

Why do you exercise? Or maybe the question should be: Why do you think about exercising? Very few of us move our bodies solely because we want to run a mile in a certain amount of time, or lift a certain amount of weight. Exercise for it’s own sake doesn’t seem to be nearly as motivating as moving so we can do things that are important to us.

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Flirting with Balance

I am pleased to announce that the second program in the Balance Series is ready for you! This week we released Flirting With Balance, the second in the three part program for improving your balance. This one brings you into your body, and then teaches you how to play. Improving your balance doesn’t need to be such serious business. We can laugh as we entice our bodies to learn to be steady on our own two feet.

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A Bounty of Sprouts

I was so happy when Mel asked me to do a podcast with her on sprouting, and equally glad when she and Lisa asked me to write a blog post -- my first one! So ...  Here goes.  I trust that the podcast and this blog is helpful to you, and will encourage you to easilygrow and eat yummy,  healthy sprouts, which give you much more nutrition than eating the full-grown vegetable!    Use your imaginations! The ways to incorporate sprouts into your daily eating plans are endless!  Use them in salads, on sandwiches, in smoothies, soups, entrees, baking and any others that come to mind...

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NFB: “Independence Means Choices”

I just returned home from my first National Federation of the Blind Convention two days ago. I am still high from the adrenaline rush. There were about 3000 people there of all shapes, colors, sizes, faiths, educational backgrounds, sexual orientations, ages, sighted, totally blind, low vision, varying degrees of deafness, and on and on. There were people from different countries. There were super athletes and those who have never exercised. There were people with wheel chairs, canes, guide dogs, and personal assistants. It has become clear to me that the commonality among all the different people is that all of us are seeking independence.

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Putting the Work in Working Out

Working out isn’t necessarily easy. Maybe that’s why it’s referred to as work. I wonder if our attitudes might be different if we thought of it as play, but that’s an idea for a completely different post. For now, most people refer to exercise as working out, and for most of us, it feels like work.

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