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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!

Clear The Way! I’ve Got some Place To Go!

Where is it? Why do I want to? How on earth am I going to make it happen?

I get so caught up in answering these questions just before the new year begins. I like to be ready to step out with enthusiasm -- usually the first Monday of the new year. I like to start everything on Mondays. We all have our quirks. That means this year is special since it begins on a Monday. How perfect is that? I get to start right away.

This post is being written 3 days before January 1st. This is the time I like to answer these questions, but they are useful anytime. They get revisited all along the way. I thought you might be interested in my process. Maybe you can take from it what works and use it as a base for creating your own place to go.

#1. Set the scene, make quiet time, and choose your favorite method of taking notes.

A large chunk of time is essential. I recommend no less than three hours. I prefer three days but that is not always realistic. Carve out your time and set it in stone. Tell your family, friends, or whomever needs to know that this is my time and interruptions are not an option. Do whatever it takes to make it happen. You deserve it and you are entitled.

Next, find a way to record your thoughts. I assure you that you will have plenty that need documenting. Speaking or writing your thoughts makes them more real. You will need them for the sake of accountability later.

Finally, find or create your spot for reflection, meditation, or deep thought -- whatever words you like. The idea is to be comfortable but not where you are likely to fall asleep. I like to sit on the floor where I have a space dedicated to daily meditation. There are no rules here. Just find a spot and claim it. Don’t let it go until you are complete.

#2. Sit down and get quiet.

You do not need to be a master meditator to settle into breathing and to become aware of yourself. No need to concern yourself with All that stuff out there.  This is valuable time. It is the best gift to give yourself and all those you love and who love you. Slow down. Feel your breath and your heartbeat. You can place your hand over your heart if you can’t detect it. This will ground you in yourself. Take a few minutes to settle.

#3. Here is where the real fun begins. Get out your notetaker and put at the top a question that puts you into the future. It can be anything. I like, “How do I want to feel about myself this time next year?” Or maybe, “Where do I want to be this time next year?” What do I want to be able to do this time next year?” What do I want to be proud of when looking back?(if you have a question that is on top for you, put it in)”

Once you have your question, allow the answers to bubble up. Do not sensor them. Write them down. The idea is to project yourself into the future. Feel yourself there doing and being exactly the way you want it to be. Really get into the details. The feelings are what will pull you forward to meet them. Imagining is a powerful tool. Spend as much time with this as you want to. The more you get into it, the stronger your impulse will be to bring it to fruition. Everything that has been created was first imagined. Imagine yourself just as you want to be, then move toward it.

#4. Now that you know where or how you want to be this time next year, it is time to ask yourself, “Why?”

Settle back and ask yourself, “Why do I want this so much?” Record or write the reasons down. Think of all the reasons. Once again, no censoring. Let them rise up from within. Feel them deeply.

Fill in the blank. I want to reach this place (name it) so that I can blank.

Knowing why you want to achieve this goal will keep you going when the path gets rocky. Revisit what you have written or recorded several times during the year. Every day is not too much. Keeping your goal in your emotional field will make it more likely that you will get where you are going.

#5. Here is the part you are probably dreading. There is no need to dread anything. If your goal is not too outlandish, you can reach it one choice at a time. The key is to say, “yes” if the choice moves you toward your goal. Just say, “no” if it doesn’t. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Actually, it really is that simple. When the choice feels like a hard one, remember your “why”. Imagine yourself where you want to be. Make the choice that is in alinement with your idea of your future self. I access the warrior part of myself. I don’t like using fighting terms but in this case it helps. I tell myself, “Nobody is going to stop me!” Get out of my way because I will get to where I am going and nothing can stop me, not even my own mind and emotions!” It is all about being aware. Ask that  voice inside of you that knows the best choice to wake up and speak louder! It is your job to listen and take action. Action is the only way you will get where you say you want to go. It is simply one choice at a time. Decide where you are going, step out into the path, and make one good choice after another. When it feels hard, remember how you will feel this time next year.

May all of us have the year we imagine for ourselves.

Good health to you,
Mel

 

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