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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!

Move More, Sit Less

We were thrilled to find a blog post by Visionaware that talks about the importance of moving more. The post is geared toward those experiencing Vision Loss, and also mentions BlindAlive as a resource. Many thanks to the author and staff for their permission to reprint the below post:

You may have heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking,” but what does this mean exactly? How does it affect me and what can I do about it?

Impact of Increasingly Sedentary Lifestyles

Researchers have been studying our increasingly sedentary lifestyles for years to determine the impact on our health and mortality. With advancements in technology, people are sitting more and moving less. From sitting during our daily commute, sitting in the office or on our computers, sitting to watch television…you get the picture. It is actually making us sick and killing us. The World Health Organization has determined physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for death for people around the world.

The “sitting is the new smoking” phrase was coined by Dr. James Levine, a Director at the Mayo clinic after years of research. He says sitting is just as major a risk factor as smoking for developing heart disease, certain types of cancer and diabetes. For example, too much sitting can increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes by 90%. Additional studies further emphasized the importance of not sitting too much by revealing that even people who exercise regularly are at greater risk if they sit the majority of their day. Exercising did show benefits for decreasing sedentary behaviors though. Dr. Levine summed it up when he said, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting.” He believes we are “sitting ourselves to death.”

What Is Too Much Sitting?

What is too much sitting and what can I do about it? Prolonged sitting, in the studies, was defined as approximately 8-12 hours a day. Every 2 hours of sitting increased the likelihood of health risks. Awareness of how much time you sit each day is the first step toward change.

Simple strategies to begin decreasing sitting time include: getting up to stand or walk during TV commercials, standing while making a phone call, getting up every half hour while on your computer. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but remember every few minutes of added standing, decreases your total sitting time.

The sitting studies may inspire you to become more physically active or begin a regular exercise plan. But maybe it seems like there are not enough hours in your day. Research has also shown that 10 minutes of activity worked into your day will provide health benefits. Increments of 10 minutes seem much more manageable and you will notice an increase in concentration, lifted mood, decreased stress and improved energy, in addition to the physical benefits. Depending on the type of activity, you may also have increased flexibility, strength, balance and/or endurance.

What Can I Do to Improve My Overall Physical Fitness

What kind of activity will improve overall physical fitness? The next step is to determine what types of activities you like to do. If you enjoy gardening, house cleaning, walking, sports, or any activity that requires movement…that is a good start. You can scrub that bathtub with enthusiasm, dig in your garden, walk up and down your steps or do squats at your computer. Anything that gets you moving will have benefits. Often when you start to feel results, you will be motivated to add another 10-minute time block of physical activity. These suggestions are suitable for people with visual impairments as well as sighted individuals.

Even if you want to join a gym or engage in a sport, there are plenty of opportunities for a person with a visual impairment. You can try out yoga or Pilates with an “eyes free fitness” audio instruction on the Blind Alive website. You can try cross country skiing with Ski for Light, a program that teaches all ability levels and provides sighted, experienced ski guides. Perhaps Achilles International can hook you up with a sighted running partner. There are even opportunities for tandem biking and other summer activities at Hull Park, an adult retreat center for the blind and low vision.

Before attempting any significant change in your physical activity level, always remember to consult your physician and start out slowly to avoid injury.

The key to physical fitness is to get moving and stay moving. It will vastly improve your quality of life and significantly improve your health. Find something you enjoy doing that will get you moving and decrease that sitting time!

Original Article Link: http://www.visionaware.org/blog/visually-impaired-now-what/physical-fitness-move-more-sit-less/12

 

 

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