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!

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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Step Counting Made Easy

We receive emails about a variety of subjects, but one of the most common questions reads something like this: “I am just starting to move more, and I want to keep track of my steps. I don’t want to spend a lot of money to do this, and I want something that’s easy to use.”

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Doctors’ Orders

The other day, I received a call from someone referred to me by a friend. She said, “My mother, who is blind, needs to lose weight and get her blood pressure down. She is self-conscious and doesn’t want to go to the gym. Her doctor thinks she needs to start with a cardio workout. Can you help?”

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So Many Stories!

Since the release of Podcast 72, I have received questions and positive feedback regarding comments I made about the stories we tell ourselves. Essentially, I said that something like a new environment or a situation in which we do not feel confident or at ease is just that. The problem is, we tell ourselves stories about what this might mean for us. For example, if you’ve moved to a new town and everything feels unfamiliar, you may begin to question your competence as a traveler or a blind person. In fact, the new area has nothing whatever to do with your confidence, but is simply just a new area.

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Does Your Back Hurt When You Travel?

Even if you do not generally have back pain, chances are good that you have experienced it when traveling. We sit for long stretches of time in seats that are not designed for the human body. Airplanes are the worst, but trains, busses, and cars can create an aching back too.

Here are some tips to help combat the soreness:

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Transforming Summer

As Nat King Cole sings, we’re headed into “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer.” It’s a wonderful time to be outside, to taste seasonal fruits and veggies at their best, and maybe even enjoy some down time. Often, we overdo things a bit, and use the summer as a chance to take a vacation from nearly everything, including our health. It’s a rare person who wants to go all out this time of year, and with everything so relaxed, that could be a hard pace to maintain.

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When Is Being Germophobic Healthy?

Some might call it paranoia but I think a healthy dose of germophobia when traveling on an airplane makes good sense. I have gotten sick after flying one too many times to ignore all those little creatures wanting to invade my body. No more will I be a passive by stander! I am going to vanquish the little monsters before they set up shop in my nose.

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When Good Enough is Just Right

I feel like I have taken up juggling in recent weeks. I don’t mean the traditional kind that would earn me some money in a carnival. Instead, I’m talking about juggling more than I thought possible while working, taking online courses, and managing my friend’s care after her stroke.
I have not attained the skills to be a master juggler, and I would not even try to represent myself as such. However, I’m learning basic lessons, and I wanted to share them with you. After all, I learn best by doing first, then by teaching what I have learned. Also, if someone can benefit from my experiences, then I’m more than happy to share.

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Not the Same You

When I was in high school, morning gym class was to be avoided at all costs. It made me feel like I was getting ready for my day twice, and I wasn’t awake enough for anything resembling physical activity. After college, I joined a gym for a short time, and found I didn’t care for that either. Besides the all-too-apparent challenges, I felt like going to the gym was an event in itself, and took up more of my day than I liked.

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