While it’s true that some workouts may be more difficult to do when you are blind or partially sighted, this is not to say that great fitness and an equally good physique cannot be achieved with the right support and instruction. Verbal cues, guidance and the use of touch can make all the difference and some instructors just need to be told how you want them to work with you, inorder for you to get the right level of support.
When it comes to staying lean and improving your posture, muscle tone and agility, Pilates is a great option. Pilates is a physical fitness system invented by Joe Pilates, a physical-culturist who wanted to develop a way of training both the mind and the body at the same time. The Pilates method develops controlled movement from a strong core and it does this by using a range of apparatus to guide and train the body.
Each piece of equipment has its own repertoire of exercises and most of the exercises done on the various pieces of Pilates apparatus are resistance training.
If you are blind or partially sighted, it may be worth taking some time before your class to familiarise yourself with the apparatus (one of which has the look of a large leather bed, with straps and bars for your arms and legs). Your instructor will ask you to lie on top of the apparatus on both your back and front as well as using the straps to provide resistance to your limbs. This can be disorientating if you are unaccustomed to the exercise and you may need your instructor to provide extra instruction or to guide you for your first session. Despite this, Pilates can be a low risk way of working out, simply because the movements you are required to do are so measured and any contact will be with either your instructor or the apparatus.
Moss Pilates is a Pilates studio based in Spitalfields. They are well known for having a highly qualified team of rehabilitation specialists and offer one-to-one sessions for people with any specific needs – including people who are either blind or partially sighted.
Moss Pilates say “Our one-to-one sessions are for anyone who wants to take advantage of an entirely bespoke programme. By strengthening and aligning core postural muscles, restoring your natural balance and helping your mind tune into just what your body needs, Pilates will, quite simply, make you feel, look and move better than you ever have before. Pilates itself – especially the way we offer it – is as complete a workout for your body and mind as you can get.”
Moss Pilates also offer group sessions with small classes.
Alex attends the Moss Pilates studio, listen to: Alex