BlindAlive.com

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!

Health at Every Size

Do you ever find yourself thinking that you're too overweight to be healthy? I have. Society drills into our heads that health is a size 2, or that health is a six pack (abs, not beer). After years and years of hearing these messages from television, books, Facebook, family, and even friends, I really believed them. I just thought that as a larger bodied person I could not be healthy, let alone physically fit. I resigned myself to the notion that size mattered when it came to fitness. I fell into the trap of believing that I would either lose weight and get in shape or I'd live on the sidelines as a larger person.

A few years ago I found out about a philosophy called HAES, which stands for Health At Every Size. This movement, pioneered by psychologist, Linda Bacon, PhD, supports the idea that regardless of size, can have good health. In essence, you can be overweight and physically fit or you can be normal weight and completely out of shape. This is, of course, an oversimplification of the ideas behind HAES, but you get the idea. Barring disease and illness, to a large degree you can control the level of health you have. This model gives the individual control over his or her level of fitness and enables them to work toward a healthier state of being without having to focus on weight loss.

I'm still learning how to live by this approach. I believe that when I focus on making my body healthy by eating good wholesome foods in appropriate quantities, getting daily exercise by doing things I enjoy, getting enough sleep each night, and taking care of my mental and spiritual self, all lead to optimal health in the long run. Now, don't get me wrong, I did say I'm “learning” how to do this. It's a work in progress. I'm a work in progress, too. There are days I do great – I eat nourishing foods in moderation and get some form of movement. I try to get a solid seven hours of sleep and I practice mental and spiritual routines that give me strength. On the other hand, I have many more days when I do none of this. I eat junk, wake up way too early to be considered normal or healthy, I binge watch Netflix and I obsess over Facebook. I'd say I'm averaging about fifty/fifty lately. Of course, busy times of the year (ahem, Christmas) really don't help me stay on the good day side of things, but I am learning (see, there it is again – learning) to assess my health frequently and think about what I can change or tweak to get back on track.

Notice that nowhere have I mentioned losing weight or dieting. It's not that I don't want to lose weight, but I will never diet again. Have you ever noticed that the first three letters in diet spell die? Diets work for the short term, but I'm not looking for short term results. I just want to live happy and healthy enough to be able to do the things that I want to do. Make sense?

For more information about Health at Every Size, check out www.lindabacon.org and www.haescommunity.org for more information and resources.

If any of this resonated with you, I'd love to hear from you. What do you think about Health At Every Size?

 

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