Get Pumped Up: The Work-Related Benefits of Exercise for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

exercise room with stationary bikes

Could you use an increase in energy? How about a boost in mental clarity? I thought so!

If you exercise regularly, you’ve noticed not only a strong body (the typical focus of exercise), but also a strong mind. If you don’t exercise regularly, you’ve likely recognized a need for a fit body and a fit mind. Those who identify with the latter, I am right there with you. You see, I go through bouts of prioritizing exercise, and then I, well, get a bit lazy. Those months drag on, as I weed through each day, feeling mentally sluggish and physically sapped. Not cool.

Currently you ask? I am not exercising and I definitely do not like how I feel. After reading Katy Lewis’ Mental Fitness Challenge, I have the motivation I need to, again, prioritize exercise. I’m ready to begin a routine of walking and weight lifting. Will you join me?

What work-related benefits of exercise will we observe as we are well into our new fitness routines?

  • We will boost our mental alertness, improving our critical thinking skills.
  • We will notice relief from work-related stress.
  • We will improve our self-confidence, helping us look and feel competent.
  • Particularly important to those who are blind or visually impaired with irregular sleep patterns (known as circadian-rhythm sleep disorders), we will improve our quality of sleep and sleep patterns. With healthy sleep comes a better attitude and improved job performance.
  • We will increase our strength, allowing us to physically withstand our job functions.
  • Cardio training will help us feel less breathless and more physically comfortable on the job.
  • We will notice our improved ability to persevere, pushing through what is demanding or difficult in order to reach our goals.
  • The endorphins received from exercise will give our moods a boost. Nice!
  • We may be able to get more accomplished at work with our increase in energy.
  • I’m betting we will be more inclined and motivated to eat healthily. Exercise + healthy eating habits = a more balanced self, ready to perform efficiently at the office.
  • Group fitness or team sports can increase our social skills, help us feel accepted, and give us an opportunity to increase our personal network.
  • Outdoor exercise can clear our minds and settle our nerves, supporting a healthy mental state for work.
  • With proper stretching we can increase our flexibility, helping us move and work efficiently. (Okay, maybe I’m stretching it here…)

Before preparing a fitness plan, review AFB Access World’s Exercising Your Right to Fitness: An Overview of the Accessibility of Exercise Equipment to find out more information about accessing exercise equipment as a person who is blind or visually impaired. Read also Staying Fit with Vision Loss and General Fitness: Getting Started.

For those who work with consumers who are blind or visually impaired, utilize the Exercise lesson plan and Group Fitness/ Team Sports lesson plan.

I’m ready to move and I hope you are too!