Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Getting Fit Is For Everybody

If we're being honest, most of us would admit that we could be in better shape. However, people with visual disabilities are even more likely to be inactive and/or obese than the general population. According to the Tennessee Association of Blind Athletes’ website (www.tnaba.org), people with blindness have one of the highest rates of obesity of all minority groups. Only 17 to 20 percent of blind and visually impaired students in public schools are included in modified adaptive physical education classes or extracurricular sports and recreation activities. Once students graduate from school, the percentage of exercisers drops to 10 to 14 percent.

Adults with visual impairments are 1.5 times more likely to be obese or morbidly obese when compared to the general population. But, studies have shown that adults with visual disabilities who participate in recreation activities have a higher likelihood of achieving gainful employment.

Long distance running is obviously one way to stay in shape, as a couple of marathoners from our staff can attest.

Image courtesy, Tennessee Association of Blind Athletes.

Image courtesy, Tennessee Association of Blind Athletes.

Image courtesy, Tennessee Association of Blind Athletes.

People with low vision or no vision can check out the Achilles International website (http://www.achillesinternational.org/). These wonderful people make it possible for people to participate in marathons no matter their physical status. Achilles International Nashville meets from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Wednesday night at McCabe Community Center in Nashville for runs along a nearby greenway.

At the Tennessee Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (TLBPH), we also carry a broad selection of fitness-related books. These include:

  • No Excuse Fitness: The 30-Day Plan to Tone Your Body and Supercharge Your Health, by Donovan Green, which is available in audio format.
  • Another overall fitness book is Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from The National Institute on Aging, available in audio and braille formats.
  • Move a Little, Lose a Lot, by James A. Levine, discusses the effects of our sedentary work and social networking environment. It is available in large print.
  • There's also The South Beach Heart Program: The Four-Step Plan That Can Save Your Life! Written by Arthur Agatston, it is available in audio, braille and large print formats.
  • A book to help people start to prepare for those marathons is The Complete Book of Exercise Walking, by Gary Yanker. It is available in audio formats.

TLBPH is a section of the Tennessee State Library & Archives, which is part of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office. For more information about TLBPH, visit: http://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/library-blind-and-physically-handicapped.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

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