Exercise for People with Low Vision

People with low vision can be active in many ways! Before you start an exercise routine, however, talk with your medical doctor and your eye doctor, since bending, lifting, or rapid movement can affect some medical and eye conditions.

A fitness instructor at a local gym or community center can help you create an effective exercise program and teach proper form.
Older woman wearing large sunglasses
If you’re working out at home:

  • Ask a partner to read the exercise descriptions and check your form until you learn the exercises.
  • Try the Go4Life exercises. Many can be done sitting down. For others, you can use a sturdy chair, counter, or wall for support.

Walking is great exercise, but play it safe:

Tandem cycling can be highly social, a lot of fun, and good exercise! In addition to providing a great workout, it teaches teamwork.

  • A sighted rider sits on the front seat of the bicycle built for two and communicates what’s ahead to the person sitting on the back seat.
  • You may not have to steer, but your partner will appreciate help with pedaling!

Bowling is not only possible, but also highly competitive. You can bowl with sighted guidance or using a guide rail. A sighted assistant aligns the bowler on the approach before the delivery. Lightweight metal rails help guide you straight toward the pins.

Swimming is another excellent endurance activity.

  • If you swim laps, count the number of strokes it takes to cover the length of the pool so you can slow down as you approach the end of your lane.
  • A pool with ropes separating the lanes helps you stay in your lane and maintain your orientation.

Learn more about living with low vision from the National Eye Institute at NIH.