New Year,Let Us Keep Healthy - Exercises for the Low Vision

Happy New Year! 2023 is coming finally. Did you travel, enjoy meals and movies with your loved ones during the New Year holiday? Did you keep doing exercises? What types of exercises are suitable for the visual impairments as you know? This read is going to share some ideas and tips, which could be definitely helpful for everyone with low vision.  

Why people with low vision should keep exercising?

Some people with poor eyesight refuse to exercise possibly due to some potential challenges for them. According to the information provided by WHO (World Health Organization), children with severe vision impairments might experience conditions such as delayed motor, and it would influence their entire lives. Meanwhile, as a consequence of certain diseases, loss of eyesight always appears in the elder group, which might make exercises become arduous for the low vision community.

However, many professionals addressed that regular exercise is necessary since the benefits of fitness for the visually impaired are countless. For most people, holiday always means relaxation and big meals. It added burdens to our stomachs and added fatness to our bodies. The best way to lose weight is to pick up some exercises during or after the holiday. Another reason for keeping regular exercise is that everyone needs to improve immunity during the pandemic period.

benefits of fitness for low vision people

Meanwhile, for people who have vision loss caused by certain diseases, the lack of exercise might lead to other complications. Proper physical exercises could reduce the chances of these complications to some extent. Moreover, with sufficient physical exercise for people with poor eyesight, their proprioception and coordination can be improved gradually, which will help them live independently.

What are the suitable exercises for low vision people?

You might be interested in knowing what kinds of exercises could be suitable for low vision people at this point. To be on the safe side, people with vision loss conditions are suggested to consult with eye doctors in advance. Basically, people with eyesight loss shall avoid doing strenuous and dangerous movements, in order to protect their eyes from potential harm. This section is going to introduce some easy and safe exercises for your reference.

Stationary bike

The stationary bike is always popular in the gym. People choose it because it could be one of the easiest and the most effective sports in the gym. The stationary bike is helpful whether you need to lose weight or want to strengthen your body. People can succeed in exercising with low vision by using stationary bikes since it doesn’t need many eye functions. Just simply set up the time with the timer, then you can just enjoy bicycling with the music you like.

stationary bike for the visually impaired

It’s usually recommended to start stationary bikes with low intensity, and it could also help you burn around 170 calories by biking for half an hour. In the meantime, 120 minutes of bicycling per week would meet the needs of movements. One thing that should be paid attention to is the elderly group and people with some specific diseases are not really suited for this activity. Using a stationary bike for a long time can be exhausting when you get used to exercising with it. In this case, elderly people and patients might not have enough energy to deal with it.

Lifting weights

Lifting weights could be considered a good indoor exercise option for the visually impaired. It’s also a common and popular activity in the gym. Lifting weights is a good choice if you prefer to gain more strength and get more muscles. It’s friendly for people who are visually impaired since it sets your eye functions free as well. More power and muscles will help low vision people to cope with more issues in their lives and live more independently.

lifting weights with poor vision

Judo

Many researchers mention that Judo can help with both physical and mental health. It not only enhances core strength and balance but also relieves pressure and develops attention while training. Some people also choose to practice Judo for the purpose of self-defense. Likewise, the abilities that people with poor vision can get from Judo will also help them with better social relationships and lifestyles. It shall be good fitness for the visually impaired, but the safety issues shall especially care more during movements.

paralympic judo inspires people with vision loss

As an Olympic event, Paralympic Judo inspires a lot of visually impaired people. Nicolina Pernheim from Sweden, Robert K. Tanaka from the US, Wayne Phipps from Canada, and so on, are all outstanding athletes, who have joined the Paralympic Games and got good grades. The excellent performances of these athletes prove that Judo can definitely be helpful for the low vision community to recognize better their bodies and gain more abilities and self-esteem to live independently.

Walking

No surprise, walking is a normal thing for everyone and a regular sport for most of the person. It is obviously the simplest and the best outdoor exercise for low vision. Walking gives people an opportunity to be closer to nature without any cost. Fresh air, great scenery, cozy mood, and so on, are what nature contributes to us. Enough time for walking practices our cardiopulmonary functions, which is beneficial for our overall health in general. Of course, being safe should be the main topic and kept in mind all the time for people with poor vision. It is better to wear a pair of low vision glasses, like Acesight low vision glasses, or have someone accompanied when going outside.

walking is the best outdoor exercise for low vision

Yoga

This can be the most appropriate fitness program for low vision people of all ages, and it’s also a safe workout for vision loss situations. You could do it whether in a yoga club or at home and just need a small place. It’s gentle but powerful, good for health and mind. Different kinds of yoga will fit various eye conditions and body situations, so it’s one of the best choices all the time.

yoga for visually impaired people

As possibly the most suitable exercise for the low vision community, it’s better to do Yoga with a professional teacher at the beginning. You will know how to stretch correctly and avoid hurts with the instructions of the coach. There are many resources about yoga for the blind and visually impaired on the internet demonstrating the movements of yoga. Or you could ask a nearby low vision institution if they have yoga classes, then you could enjoy the relaxing trip of doing yoga!

Notes for Low vision doing exercises 

People who have visual impairments might fear doing exercise for diverse reasons. They might not know what and how to start, claim the lack of time, don’t have partners, or some other causes. Particularly, people who are born blind or have severe vision loss conditions, are more likely to reject exercises due to the insecurity of their own bodies. A long time of vision loss leads to the loss of control of the body, which increases the difficulty when managing to do some exercises. Let's see what suggestions for blind and vision loss people to prepare well and avoid workout barriers in the following.

As it’s mentioned above, consulting with eye doctors shall be the priority before exercising. The doctors can give professional recommendations according to the individual eye conditions and body health, and it could be the most effective and useful preparation for low vision people to start workouts. Additionally, the support of the family is essential. Their company can not only help visually impaired people exercise but also ensure their safety, and build healthy lifestyles and exercise habits. Meanwhile, paying attention to eye protection and using eye aids flexibly will also be meaningful for poor vision people. For instance, eye protection during walking outdoors like wearing sunglasses, in order to avoid the strong sunlight.

family's support makes low vision keep exercising

For people who are blind or have visual impairments, exercise is not as difficult as you might think. Among plenty of physical activities, there is always one program for you as a good fit. To lose weight, to improve immunity, or to increase confidence, whatever reason you choose to start doing exercises, it is a good signal as long as you take action! It’s never too late and now is for sure the best time to get a start! Please @Zoomax on Facebook and share with others what your favorite exercise is and how it benefits you.

References:

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment

https://visionaware.org/everyday-living/recreation-and-leisure/sports-and-exercise/exercise-5866/

https://exerciseright.com.au/exercising-with-a-visual-impairment/

https://chicagolighthouse.org/sandys-view/exercise/

https://www.amakella.com/benefits-of-judo/

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/exercise-bike-benefits

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