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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!

They Were Everywhere!

In a previous blog post, I wrote the following about an upcoming 5K:

“My next one will be September 8. That is five years to the day

that I lost nearly all my possessions in a flood. It just seemed like an extra way to give that a proverbial kick in the pants and to live strong.”

As I write, today is that day, and I have just finished. It was amazing! There were people everywhere, lining the path and cheering me on. Some were strangers, and others have been a pivotal part of my life. I’m getting ahead of myself though. Let me play some video and describe what’s happening.

See that uncertain-looking person wearing the turquoise shirt? No, not that one. That person over there, that one who doesn’t look like a runner. That’s me, and I’m ready to go, I guess. I’m not particularly feeling the joy of just getting out there and moving my body, but I’m doing it. This is the day the 5K is scheduled, and I’d really like to finish well. For me, this means shaving at least a little off my time.

I’m especially lucky to participate in this particular event. They’ve even got live music. Funny, but much of it sounds like the stuff on my Workout playlist. Anyway, The first group is a bunch of guys, singing acappella. You wouldn’t think it would work, but it’s got a good rhythm, and it does work, especially when they add clapping. Next, there’s this fun march – it’s a mix of “76 Trombones” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Who doesn’t find it easy to move to a march, right? By the end of that one, I’m already starting to falter. Did I mention that this was one of those days where moving for it’s own joy really wasn’t doing it for me? I knew that something had to change. I knew I could do it physically, but my attitude was going to hold me back if I wasn’t careful. And that’s when my day turned from ordinary to amazing.

Ooh, look at that face on me! Scary isn’t it? I’ll be lucky if it doesn’t stay that way. But it doesn’t. I break into a smile as I see my dad. It’s his birthday today, so he’s on my mind. “Happy birthday, Dad. What are you doing here? And Mom too? Wow!”

I keep on going, and there’s a really fun thing happening. The upbeat music is now being played by a family, all of whom play various stringed instruments. But when any of them has a rest in the music, they’re high-fiving the runners. You can just tell they’re cheering us on.

There are all kinds of strangers lining the way. Look at that little girl! She can’t be more than four. She’s jumping up and down, pigtails flying, and yelling, “Go Mama, go!” I’m obviously not her mom, but I feel encouraged anyway.

Next, there are two people, standing side by side, who I hoped never to see again. The first is my gym teacher during fourth and fifth grade. She seemed to find reasons I should sit out of nearly everything. And next to her is one of many bullies who populated my elementary school existence. It doesn’t look like he’s changed at all, as he sticks out a leg to trip me. I avoid the impulse to make rude gestures, wave at the gym teacher, and jump effortlessly over the bully’s outstretched leg. That alone is enough to keep me moving, and yes, I’m definitely smiling.

I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that this particular video is not playing on some screen, but in my imagination. That whole jumping over the leg that’s meant to trip me… I don’t really see that one ever happening, but it’s fun to dream.

I encountered many more people along my walk, most of whom loved and supported me, and a few who did not. Most are living, but some live on in my memory. I even came upon my future self. She simply said, “Move for me, even when you don’t feel like it. You’ll be so glad you did.”My physical environment didn’t change at all, but changing my mind changed everything. When times are difficult, or simply less than ideal, we can find strength from those who have encouraged us in the past. We can use our talent and creativity to find the motivation to keep going, regardless of the situation in which we find ourselves.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, I decreased my time by 1 minute, 36 seconds, and I truly feel I owe those positive results not only to hard work, but to those who have cheered me on in the past so I could move forward in the future.

At BlindAlive, we’d love to encourage you on your health and fitness journey by making it possible for you to find the resources you need. Please check out our website for a variety of well-described workouts, podcasts, this blog of course, our newsletter, and other helpful information. And if you’d like to be in touch with us personally, you can comment on our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or join our BlindAlive Community on Facebook.

 

 

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