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!

Everyone Needs a “Reset” Button

Do you ever wish you had a “reset” button for your body and brain? Well, you actually do have the ability to create a “reset” button for yourself.

When I walk out of my comfort zone and out my front door, I put on my armor both physically and mentally. I have my sun visor to protect my head from branches that I can’t see, sunglasses to keep the sun from hurting my eyes, supportive shoes for my posture, legs and back, and I mentally pull down a conscious calmness to keep my fear managed. Once I have myself all figured out, I harness up my guide dog Jingles with all her odds and ends, then we set off into the world of potential surprises. 

Getting hit with branches in the face or stumbling over a curb may not bother some people as much as it bothers me. I tend to be a sensitive sort and my body reacts by contracting, freezing, and startling. It is my own body trying to protect me from danger, but sometimes we don’t want those particular kinds of reactions coming up all of the time.  I expect some of you know what I mean. This is a reality we cannot avoid, but we do have the choice to counteract the toll this anxiety plays on our psyche and body. 

What can we do to when we stumble upon the unexpected and find ourselves contracting, or freezing up, or feel the rush of adrenaline that comes from being startled? 

We can learn to “reset” our brain and body every day. We do this by making expansive movements and combine those movements with our voices in a safe environment. For example, what I like to do is stand in my kitchen, swing my arms back and forth in big circles while I take in deep breaths and exhale those breaths forcefully. We want to open and expand our bodies to let out tension and stress instead of keeping it bottled up or staying contracted. Yes, this may seem silly or you may feel self-conscious, but if you do this, you will find that you feel your body relaxing and your brain will unwind. Sometimes we need our armor to protect ourselves from the unexpected, but it is up to us to be able to take our armor off. Fear may be a sort of natural occurrence for many of us, but there are many ways we can let our bodies  let go of the fear and “reset” itself.

Some other examples of things you may want to try are: punching a pillow, pretending to box by punching your fists in the air, jumping up and down, dancing, stomping or taking nice big steps and combine any of these movements with some sort of vocalization like singing, growling, grunting, screaming or laughing. Do what feels natural and comfortable for you. You may have to do several things before you find the way your body likes to “reset” itself. Remember, the point of this “reset” exercise is to keep our brain from creating the habit of staying contracted or frozen. Once you start doing this, you enable your body and your brain to remember how it feels to expand and unwind the tight coils that your body creates as part of your body’s defense mechanism.

“Reset” your body and brain every day and keep the ideas flowing by sharing back the ways that you create your own “reset” button.

 

BlindAlive - Creator of Eyes-Free Fitness® - Doylestown, PA 18901

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