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!

Exercise Descriptions for Sculpting with Weights Level One

Sculpting With Weights Level 1 is our first fully described workout. It is appropriate for men and women. Increasing the weights makes it more challenging.

There are 4 segments: a warm up standing leg and upper body, floor exercises, and a cool down. It is approximately 35 minutes long.

The equipment needed is an exercise mat, a wall or chair for balance, and hand weights. I use 3, 5, and 8 pound weights. Men may want to use heavier weights. The beauty is that nobody needs to know how much weight you are using because you can do it alone. That is my favorite part.

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1 - Introduction

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Text Description: It is recommended that you check with your doctor before beginning this, or any workout. If you are using weights or are unfamiliar with your environment, it is recommended that you wear shoes for the safety of your feet. If you have difficulty with balance, you may want to be sure to have access to a chair or a sturdy piece of furniture to assist you. Be sure to use it to balance yourself only. Leaning heavily on it will decrease the effectiveness of your workout.

2 - March in Place

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Text Description: We like to begin nearly all our workouts with a gentle march in place because it's a natural movement which helps lubricate the joints, and gets the heart pumping. You can begin marching as soon as you hear the music start. If you become tired during an exercise, or you are not sure what to do, you can always march until you come to something that is familiar. The march in place can be as gentle as a walk in place. Traditionally, it involves bringing your knees up high, one at a time. As you raise each knee, swing the opposite arm forward. You will want to keep arms loosely bent while doing this. If the march is too easy, or you have started the workout already warmed up, you can substitute a faster version, by jogging in place.

3 - Step Touches

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Text Description: To do step touches, start with your back straight, and your shoulders back and down. step out with your right foot, and bring your left foot in to meet it. Then, step out with your left foot, and bring your right foot in to meet it. When you step out, bring both arms straight out to your sides, so your body is making the shape of a cross or a print letter T. When you bring your foot in to meet it, return your arms to your sides. Your arms will go out to shoulder height each time you step out.

4 - Knee Twists

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Text Description: Bend your elbows so they are level with your shoulders. Keeping your back straight, bring your left knee up, twisting to touch your knee to your right elbow. Bring your foot to the ground, then reverse. Bring your right knee up to touch your left elbow, or as close as you are able, before bringing your foot back to the ground.

5 - Jumping Jacks

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Text Description: Stand with feet together, and arms at your sides. Jump up, and bring your feet wide while bringing your hands together, up over your head. If you are unable to do this exercise, you can modify it. Bring your arms up and down, as high as you can. Instead of jumping, touch your right foot out to the side while bringing both arms up, then repeat with the left foot.

6 - Straight Leg Raises

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Text Description: Kick one foot out in front of you, and bring it back. As you kick your right foot out, bring your left arm out. You can reach to touch your calf or your toes with your hand. Remember to keep your back straight. Then, alternate with your left leg and your right arm.

7 - Squats

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Text Description: Stand with your feet hip distance apart, with your weight in your heels, and your knees not locked. Bend at the knees and hip joints, keeping your back straight. Sink down as far as is comfortable, then return to a standing position. If you are using weights while squatting, gently rest them on your shoulders. One way to learn proper form is to do squats with a wall in front of you and a chair behind you. If your knees touch the wall, you may be bending too deeply. If your nose touches the wall, it is likely that your back is not straight, but that you are bending forward. Touch your backside to the chair, and return to a standing position.

8 - Overhead Shoulder Presses

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Text Description: Stand with your feet shoulder with apart, knees unlocked, stomach in, and your shoulders back and down. Hold one weight in each hand, with palms facing out. Start with your elbows bent and your hands at about chest height. Straighten your arms then bend, returning the weights back to their starting positions. Repeat. Remember to exhale as you raise up, and inhale as you come down.

9 - Lunges

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Text Description: Start with your feet together, then step forward with your right foot. This is a very wide stance. Your weight should be balanced on the heel of your right foot and the ball of your left foot. Bend your right knee until it nearly touches the floor. Keeping your weight in your right heel and the ball of your left foot, come back to a standing position. Repeat all lunges for this side before switching to the left leg. Remember to use a wall or furniture for balance and to help you maintain proper form if needed.

10 - Lateral Shoulder Raises

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Text Description: Stand with straight posture, core engaged, knees and elbows slightly bent. Start by holding a weight in each hand at your sides. Slowly bring the weights up to shoulder height so your arms form the shape of a cross or a print letter T. Then, return them to your sides.

11 - Bicep Curls

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Text Description: Hold a weight in each hand with your palms facing up, and elbows tucked into your waist. Bring the weights up to your shoulders, then back down to the starting position. It is important to keep the entire move controlled, and not just let gravity take over when you are returning the weight back to its starting position.

12 - Tricep Overhead Extensions

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Text Description: Start with a weight in each hand. Your palms are facing each other, and your arms are straight up in the air. Keeping your elbows tight in toward your head, bring the weights down behind you to gently touch the base of your neck, then straighten your arms. Remember to keep your core muscles engaged, and to pay attention to breathing and to proper posture.

13 - Back Flies

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Text Description: Start on all fours, with your wrists below your shoulders, and your knees in line with your hip joints. Your back is straight, and your stomach muscles are engaged. Start by holding a weight in your right hand, and lifting it up and out to the side so it is parallel to the ground. Then, bring it back to the starting position. When you have done the repetitions for the right side, you will do the same move on the left side. If being on all fours is uncomfortable, you can sit on the edge of a chair or bed, or on a stability ball, and lean your upper body forward. Make sure that you are not leaning your chest on your knees if you choose to modify the exercise in this way.

14 - Planks

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Text Description: Lie on the floor on your elbows and knees. Your spine is in a straight line, and your stomach is pulled up and in. To add complexity, come up onto your toes, and then onto your palms.

15 - Chest Presses

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Text Description: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Hold a weight in each hand, and press that weight up toward the ceiling, and back down. Remember to keep both the upward and downward movements controlled.

16 - Bridges

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Text Description: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Dig your heels into the floor, and press your hips toward the sky, using your thigh, abdominal, and glute muscles to help. You can also use your hands to help with balance if you wish. You want to aim to be in a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.

17 - Bicycles

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Text Description: Lie on your back and bring one knee up to your chest. Straighten that knee while bringing the other knee into your chest. Interlock your fingers behind your head so that your elbows come out to either side. As you bring each knee up, bring the alternating elbow over to meet it.