British Blind Sport to develop at-home exercise routines to combat isolation
Due to the uncertain and ever-changing climate we currently find ourselves in due to the developments of Covid-19, British Blind Sport is looking at the ways in which we adapt our delivery to people with sight loss.
With many of our members, supporters and followers being visually impaired or supporting someone with a visual impairment, they are already at an increased risk of social isolation compared to the rest of the population. With the current advice around social distancing becoming common place, it is important for us to find ways to reach our community and keep them healthy, both physically and mentally, whilst adhering to government guidelines.
Whilst many of our physical events and activities are being postponed, BBS want to explore offering at-home workouts and activities that can be followed primarily by audio (catering for the VI community, the ability to follow routines by audio only is paramount), that could run on local radio stations, via our website and social media platforms.
Ideally we want to create a bank of original workouts that people can access via the BBS website, as well as having individual routines to share daily and “live” workouts, via Facebook live or You Tube, which encourage people to come together at a certain time of day and be part of a community who are all trying to stay active together.
We believe that this opportunity could be incredibly beneficial to people with a visual impairment; helping them to stay physically active whilst also maintaining mental wellbeing. The overall aim is to battle the negative impact of social isolation by ensuring that people are still accessing physical activity.
We are keen to provide a diverse range of workouts and activities, such as Yoga, interval training, Pilates, Boxercise, step, HIIT and any skills or activities that can be learnt or practised at home. In addition we would give our recipients different things to try in the comfort of their own home, such as Judo, football skills and dance, which would be a great addition to stimulate mind and body.
This is a great opportunity for the sport and physical activity sector to pull together and create a real sense of community in these uncertain and chaotic times. The threat of social isolation is incredibly scary and anything we can do to allay these fears and bring people together would be a huge positive movement in our sector. Although we are focussing on supporting the sight loss sector, these videos and workouts could be accessible for anyone who is home-bound and in need of some physical and mental exercise.
This is also a great way to encourage people to try new activities that they may want to continue once the current situation has quietened down. We would want to be able to signpost to any individual YouTube or website channels whereby at-home workouts are already available – traffic to these sorts of resources will be more than ever during this time of social distancing! We also hope that this action will help to stop activity levels dropping during this time of isolation, and as such ensure more people than ever will be looking to join clubs and activities in person once this period of social distancing comes to an end.
We are in the early stages of our campaign and, in support of Sport England’s Join The Movement initiative, have already pulled together many useful resources on our #StayInWorkOut webpages, which can be viewed here