Image of a girl exercising on a yoga mat.

An Exercise Mat For One

When it comes to exercise, in my experience some activities are more blind or low vision friendly than others. This is often for no other reason than they don’t involve other people. Let’s face it, other people add complexities to the equation.

For example, it’s not as though I can spontaneously turn up to a run, exercise class, or an event. Oh no, it’s not that simple. There’s most likely people there I’ve never met. It doesn’t matter how comfortable I am with the run, class or event. I still have to overcome other people’s unconscious bias, anxieties, experience, and ignorance. And we haven’t even said hello, let alone laced up our shoes.

So even when I do want to participate, often I don’t. This is because I have to go through the rigor of having to advocate, organise, educate, reassure, and sometimes even ask for permission. I then have to accommodate people’s intentions, fears, and curiosities. It really saps all the fun from my initial excitement around the idea.

Not to mention I haven’t yet begun to figure out how I’m going to get to and from said event. There is the logistics of cost, transport, time, cognition and energy to consider. These logistics also effect any potential companion, if I can find one.

For me this often translates to things I can do at home. I may not get the social interaction some people crave, but I still receive the many physical and psychological benefits of working out. This is why I’m a fan of equipment, apps, skills, knowledge, and spaces that afford me the opportunity to train safely, soundly, and independently.

For example, exercises that can be done relatively stationary, such as on a rower, recumbent bike, or within the tactile confines of a pink yoga mat are a good option. Say hello body weight workout, high intensity interval training, aqua aerobics with a tether, Feldenkrais, Pilates, and yoga.

In other words, anything which has a timer, or verbal instructional narrative attached that allows a girl to hold a reasonable consistency in terms of personal space and place is good. Because it doesn’t matter how, where, or when you get active. All that matters is that you find something you enjoy, and you do it.

Posted in The Sanctuary Of Sport and tagged .