Be Active, Be Safe: A Few Basic Guidelines
- Do not begin any type of exercise without consulting your physician. Modifications may be necessary to exercise safely. Depending on your medical history or any medications you may be taking, conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, high or low blood pressure, heart disease, COPD, and many others must be considered when planning an exercise program.
- Do not exercise alone, especially when beginning a program, using new equipment, learning new movements, or an unfamiliar environment. A sighted fitness professional or exercise partner ensures safety while providing motivation and boosting confidence.
- Begin slowly and choose an activity you’ll enjoy. Becoming discouraged is easy if your muscles are sore and you’re not having any fun!
- If it hurts, STOP! Exercise and movement should not be painful. You might experience symptoms such as mild to moderate fatigue, muscle or joint awareness, or slight breathlessness, but you should NOT feel any pain beyond what you may experience on a daily basis.
- Listen to what your body is telling you. It’s a pretty smart machine. If you are sore or fatigued, take a day off. If a certain movement causes discomfort or pain, find a substitute. Conversely, if you can’t get out of a chair without help or climb a flight of stairs without becoming winded, it is time to embrace a more active life.
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Comfort enhances motivation.
- Congratulate yourself for anything and everything active you choose to do. Doing something—anything!—is always better than doing nothing.
- Finally, have fun!