The different balance exercises for the virtually impaired are worth knowing since these exercise benefits cannot be overestimated. I am prompted to bring to you this eye-opening piece because I understand the need for everyone to be fit regardless of some of these life challenges.
If you or your loved ones are in dire need of exercise but due to some of the challenges of life which might pose themselves as virtual impairment, consider reading this to the very last dot of this article.
For a better understanding, balance exercises are physical activities designed to improve stability and coordination.
They typically involve training the body to maintain control and equilibrium, either in a stationary position or while moving.
These exercises can range from simple tasks like standing on one leg to more complex routines involving equipment like balance boards or stability balls.
Well, I will be reviewing the top balance exercises so that you overcome the hassle of choosing the one that best suits you.
Here are some of the things I recommend you look out for before going for any of these exercises;
Since vision plays a vital role in exercises, in the absence of a clear one, it is only essential that you engage in exercises where other areas should be explored.
Engage in exercises that involve other senses like hearing, proprioception, touch, and a healthy dose of non-visual feedback.
Get down with exercises that involve the body awareness factor. This factor captures an advanced understanding and overall perception of one’s own body movements and position in space.
And this, to a great extent, compensates for the absence of visual clarity. This circles around fair and balance training, body scanning, tactile feedback, etc.
The idea of kinetic cues, as it concerns exercises for the visually impaired, borders on the usage of movement feedback and body sensation to serve as guide and to keep track of effort and form. This is as opposed to depending on visual cues.
It includes taking cognizance of internal rhythm and body tempo, range of motion and joint movement, muscle activation and tension, etc.
Warn-up before embarking on Balance Exercises For Visually Impaired
First, start with regular Warm-up exercises (5-10 minutes):
Gentle marching in place
Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Slowly lift one knee up toward your chest, and then lower it back down to the starting position.
Repeat this movement with the opposite leg, while also swinging your arms naturally with each step. Keep your spine aligned and your core engaged throughout the exercise.
Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms extended out to the sides at shoulder height.
Make small circles with your arms, moving them forward and backward. Gradually increase the size of the circles until you’ve reached your maximum range of motion. Focus on feeling the stretch in your shoulders and upper back.
Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and a soft bend in your knees. Gently rotate your ankles in a clockwise direction, feeling the movement in your ankles and feet.
Then, reverse the movement and rotate your ankles in a counterclockwise direction. Maintain a stable base by keeping your feet grounded on the floor.
Categories of Balance Exercises For Visually Impaired
- Cardiovascular exercises
- Toning and muscle building exercises
- Balance and flexibility exercises
- Dancing exercises
- Yoga exercises
These are a set of aerobic exercises that can be tailored to fit the needs of a visually impaired person and bring balance.
This can be simply putting yourself to work on a stationary bike, engaging in push-ups and squats, or walking by the sideways of tracks or on a treadmill.
Although the treadmill is advised in this case. For the visually challenged, exercises are not solely about increasing body strength, they are also aimed at sharpening the senses. Cardiovascular exercises capture this as they promote better body navigation and improve balance.
They help to foster the achievement of physical goals and promote self-assuredness without the need to constantly depending on sight.
The betterment of mental well-being is not left out either. Cardiovascular exercises, which have the reputation of boosting endorphins release, go on to balance emotional resilience and reduce stress, leading to an overall mood boost.
2. Toning and muscle-building exercises
Feeble muscles are often preceded by imbalance and instability. And this trouble doubles up for one with a blurry vision.
Hence, the essentiality of toning and muscle-building exercises. The reason exercises in this class are just perfect is tied to their flexibility; they can be done anywhere — whether at home, gym, or even in a personal workspace.
Just as convenient. Resistance bands and lightweight dumbbells do not hurt. Medicine balls are great too.
The collective contributions of the aforementioned mold the foundation for a secure movement. And with a secure movement comes the confidence to explore the surroundings with an insane depth of fearlessness and better mental freedom.
While any exercise can just be as great for anyone, balance and flexibility exercises hold a higher level of relevance for those with impaired vision.
Especially as they greatly contribute to fall prevention. Exercises like heel-toe walking, tai chi, single-leg stand, etc strengthen the core and bring about enhanced coordination. Resulting in a steadier gait and low fall risk.
People with altered vision tend to have a tempered posture resulting from the over-carefulness tied to fear. However, this problem is resolved as flexibility exercises primarily target body alignment and upright posture.
Dancing exercises are a fine blend of fun and work. Depending on the type of tune that accompanies it. The focus here is usually on body awareness and rhythm.
While this is a fun way of socializing and expressing oneself, aside from the graceful twirls and dazzling footwork, it has proven to be a confidence catalyst and stress slayer.
This has to do with a sensory symphony that goes beyond visual limitation. The good thing here is that it can be a locomotive or non-locomotive type.
There is a wide array of dance exercises to choose from. It could be done in groups or solo. It all boils down to the preferences of the participants. There are fast and slow-paced dance exercises too. Some can even pass the test of cardio. However, they are not predominantly so.
Yoga is great because of its rich level of inclusiveness. Whether a seasoned practitioner or a beginner, you have a place to get involved. It is pretty accessible and scalable. All thanks to its wide spectrum of poses that carry everyone along.
In Yoga, there are standing poses, twisting poses, balancing poses, restorative poses, inversions, etc. All of these are done within a small space with no need for unnecessary tough and sharp high-energy locomotive movements where an almost-perfect vision is required.
While yoga has an undeniable profound positive effect on the body, it is a journey into an inner exploration to cause a positive transformation — it helps in focus sharpening. It hammers on synchronized breathing and precise movements.
Conclude with a relaxing Cool-down (5-10 minutes):
- Gentle stretches: Start by stretching your major muscle groups, such as your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, chest, and back. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds, focusing on your breath and releasing any tension or tightness. Move slowly and mindfully through each stretch, paying attention to how your body feels.
- Foot massage: Place a tennis ball on the floor and stand with your feet on either side of it. Slowly roll the ball back and forth under your feet, focusing on any tight or sore areas. This simple exercise can help release tension and improve circulation in your feet. You can also use a frozen water bottle or other small massage tool if you don’t have a tennis ball.
How to get the best from balance exercises for the visually impaired
Pay attention to your body’s signals and stop the exercises if you feel any pain, dizziness, or other discomfort. It’s important to be gentle and mindful during stretching and self-massage, so don’t push yourself too hard. Your goal should be to feel relaxed and rejuvenated after these simple exercises.
To reap the benefits of balance exercises, aim to practice 2-3 times per week. Consistency is key, so try to incorporate these simple stretches and self-massage techniques into your weekly routine. Over time, you’ll notice improvements in your balance, flexibility, and overall well-being.
If you have difficulty balancing, a cane or guide may provide additional support and stability. This can help you feel more confident as you practice the exercises and improve your balance. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to see if a cane or guide would be beneficial for you.
Note that balance exercises for people with impaired vision must be narrowed down to suit their peculiarity.
What is great for the bigger picture would not necessarily find relevance to all. For many, this is a chaotic mix of emotions lingering.
Especially seeing that this topic is cloaked in uncertainty. Here, the possibility of many movement ranges has been rediscovered, not solely for physical benefits, but also within the landscape of the mind.
Follow through the options and pick what best suits you. Understand that balance doesn’t just stop at alignment, it is a dance at adaptation.