Talking Vision: Best ways for people who are blind to keep active in the cold

21 July 2021

When it’s freezing cold and dark outside, there’s always something better to do than exercise.

This week on Vision Australia Radio’s weekly show Talking Vision, host Sam Colley delves into the world of blind and low vision fitness.

Blind bodybuilder Jason Whiter says it’s understandable that people lose their motivation in winter.

“We tend to want to sleep in more and rug up in bed earlier, so it leaves the active hours shorter than what they would normally be,” he told Talking Vision.

Blind personal trainer and soccer referee Sebastian Petrovic said making the task less intimidating can work wonders.

“Prepare the sports bag, water bottle etc. beforehand,” he said.

“It’s always good to try something once and it could spark something.”

Caption: Two players block a ball during a Goalball game. 

Gyms are also a little more challenging for people who are blind or have low vision because they’re designed for sighted users.

Jason said getting someone at the gym to teach you the layout of the workout floor will help immensely in staying safe and avoid tripping.

Another good tip is just wear a hat.

“It’s likely the equipment will hit the brim of the hat first then your head,” Jason said.

Tips to get active during the colder months:

  • You don’t always need weights. Research exercises that use your own body weight
  • Rug up. Try and make the weather a non-issue.
  • Prepare your gym bag and outfit the day before. Some people even sleep in their gym clothes so it’s once less thing to prep for.
  • Phone a friend. Exercise is always easier with a friend or in a group. Try walking with a friend as a start.
  • Get active during a lunch break – set easy goals ie walk to the café to get lunch
  • Focus on the mental health benefits (exercise isn’t just about aesthetics and fitness)
  • Youtube tutorials. Find something you like, whether it’s yoga, cardio, or weights. There are dozens of creators who specialise in home workout routines.

There are also a variety of blind sports and trial days throughout the year. Check what’s on in your state or territory by searching blind sports online.

Talking Vision is a weekly discussion of issues relating to blindness and low vision.

It includes stories of inspiration and achievement and information on services for the community.

Tell us your story by emailing talkingvision@visionaustralia.org