Tag Archives: exercise

BBS: Active at Home for April!

British Blind Sport Active at Home Live Workouts

ActiveAtHome with British Blind Sport

April’s Active at Home Programme, below are a series of audio-led follow on exercise videos.

This will keep you accountable and give you the chance to see what progress you make ahead of the next live workout week beginning on Monday 3rd May 2021!

The idea is for you to do the same session on the same day each week to develop a weekly routine and help you build good habits. These sessions have been detailed below

📍 Monday:
– Strength & Tone by The Lakeside Fitness Studios
Click for the Strength and Tone Session

📍 Tuesday:
– H.I.I.T by Inclusive Fitness Training
Click here for the HIIT Session

📍 Wednesday:
– Yoga by Synergy Dance LTD
Click here for the Yoga Session

📍 Thursday:
– Boxercise by Able2B
Click here for the Boxercise session

📍 Friday:
– Pilates by FJB Pilates
Click here for the Pilates Session

Here at British Blind Sport, we love hearing your feedback so why not let us know how you found these sessions by completing our Active at Home Feedback Form by clicking here or by posting in the Active at Home Facebook Group which can be found by clicking here.


Metro Blind Sports Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!
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Live PE Lessons – Tuesdays 1.30 to 2.15pm

Live PE Lessons Tuesdays 1.30 pm to 2.15pm

Live PE Lessons

The PE and School Sports Network will be streaming LIVE PE lessons every Tuesday until the half-term break from 1.30 till 2.15 pm. The first lesson will focus on individual, fundamental skills using a tennis/sponge ball.

You can take part in any adequate space size depending on numbers including classrooms and at home.

To access the lessons, simply click onto the link below using your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

You can also join the lessons via our Twitter and Instagram pages.

See you then

Wilson Frimpong   – Email: wilson@lpessn.org.uk

Joint Network Manager


PE Development Initiative Of The Year – UK 2020

Most Inclusive PE Programme Of The Year – South London 2020

The PE & School Sports Network

0207 237 1928 Ext: 4086 || www.lpessn.org.uk 





National Eye Health Week 21 – 27 Sept 2020

Be Eye Aware! National Eye Health Week 21 - 27 Sept 2020

National Eye Health Week takes place from 21st to 27th September 2020

This document has been put together by the BAME Vision Committee.


Vision is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don’t know how to look after our eyes – National Eye Health Week aims to change all that to help promote the importance of good eye health and the need for regular testing.



Diet, Nutrition and Hydration

The food we eat has a huge impact on our eyesight.  However,  a recent survey revealed that 60% of people living in the UK have no idea about the link between a good diet and healthy eyesight .  The vitamins and minerals found in fruit, vegetables and other wholesome foods can help protect our sight and keep our eyes healthy.


Natural foods that are really beneficial to eye health are generally those that are colourful in appearance and contain carotenoids which are essential for healthy eyes. Fruits such as oranges, blueberries, grapes, mango, and vegetables such as sweetcorn, carrots, butternut squash, red peppers and – most importantly – green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale are foods that are all really rich in carotenoids and act as antioxidants which are nature’s way of getting rid of harmful cells and help keep our eyes healthy.

Carotenoids also may help reduce the discomfort from glare and help to enhance visual contrasts which supports our eyes ability to distinguish between colours and shapes.  Soy is also known to be very beneficial for good eye health as it contains vitamin E and other essential natural anti-inflammatory agents. All of the above foods , and many others, including eggs, and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna all naturally contain essential nutrients that are beneficial to healthy eyes.




Drinking plenty of water every day is also essential for healthy eyes as they can easily become dehydrated which is severely harmful to eyes. Dehydration and distorted vision are often closely related. This happens because when we are dehydrated our eyes become dry and sore which causes eye strain which in turn leads to blurred vision which is  often followed by vision headaches or migraine. When we drink water we are also adding oxygen to our brain and eyes and we all know we can’t survive without oxygen. So it is really important to make drinking plenty of water part of a daily routine for good eye health. The Food Standards Agency recommends that we drink approximately 1.2 litres (6-8 glasses) of water every day and more if exercising or if the weather is hot.




 According to evidence from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London our eyes need oxygen to stay healthy and comfortable.  There is growing scientific evidence that aerobic exercise can increase oxygen to the optic nerve and lower pressure in the eye.  Reducing this pressure can help control conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and glaucoma.

Lack of exercise is said to contribute significantly to several eye conditions especially to those over 60 years old.  Exercise is known to  reduce hardening or narrowing of the arteries and which in turn reduces the risk of diabetes and high cholesterol all conditions which may negatively affect good eye health.

Exercise does not have to mean going to the gym or running a marathon.  Simply 30 minutes brisk ( or two lots of 15 minutes) walking at least five times a week will help with good eye health. Brisk walks, swimming, cycling, jogging, yoga, pilates and dancing or any form of activity that elevates the heart rate for short periods of time will all help to reduce pressure in the eyes.




Alcohol is a diuretic which causes dehydration. This is due to the excessive loss of fluid either through the passing of urine more frequently or through sweating.  As stated previously dehydration is not good for eye health.  In addition alcohol also raises blood sugar levels which leads to blurred vision as it causes the eye’s lens to swell which reduces the ability to see.  It can take up to 24 hours, with no more alcohol consumed, for blood sugar levels and vision  to return to normal.

If we drink too much alcohol our blood pressure rises which in turn increases the possibility of hypertensive retinopathy which causes damage to the tiny delicate vessels that supply blood to the eye’s retina, the area at the back of the eye that allows us to focus on images.  The higher the blood pressure and the longer it has been elevated, the higher the risk of the damage.  This condition may gradually improve if steps are taken to consistently lower blood pressure.

Excessive drinking of alcohol, even for a short period of time, will interfere with our liver’s ability to function properly because it reduces the levels of glutathione which is an efficient antioxidant that can help protect against common eye disease. Heavy consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/age-related-macular-degeneration-amd/

Advice from the Department of Health recommends that men should not drink more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol per day and that women should not drink more than 2 units per day.




 Smoking has been said to have a close association with strong or malignant hypertensive retinopathy (which causes damage to the tiny delicate vessels that supply blood to the eye’s retina, the area at the back of the eye that allows us to focus on images) due to elevated blood pressure levels.

Smokers are far more likely to develop AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) which is the most common cause of sight-loss in the UK, and cataracts.




The Sun

 We should never look directly at the sun as this can lead to irreversible damage to eyes or even blindness.  There are studies that show that sunlight exposure can be a risk factor related to  those who develop cataracts (see below).

Excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to a sunburn-like condition called photokeratitis. This can be extremely painful and make your eyes red, swollen and watery. The symptoms of this condition are an inflammation of the outer layer of the cornea, which typically occurs after 6 – 12 hours exposure and will normally clear up quickly causing no permanent damage to the eye.

Unfortunately the damaging effect of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun accumulate over a number of years so that by the time we are 18 we will already have been exposed to too much UV rays.  For this reason it is never too early to start protecting our children’s eyes.

The general advice is, if possible wear a wide brimmed hat/ sunglasses that can help protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun.  Wear dark glasses, they need not be expensive. Ensure sunglasses filter AT LEAST 99 per cent of UVA and UVB light and look out for the Look for sunglasses glasses carrying the CE mark or the British Standard BS EN ISO 12312-1:2013, which ensures they offer a safe level of ultraviolet protection.




Cataracts occur when the lens, a small transparent disc inside your eye, develops cloudy patches.

As we get older, they start to become frosted, like bathroom glass, and begin to limit our vision.

Over time these patches usually become bigger causing blurry, misty vision and eventually.  It may be recommended to wear glasses or contacts with stronger lenses.  But unfortunately cataracts will become worse and surgery is the only way to treat them.  Thankfully, cataract surgery is one of the most common and straightforward operations, usually done as day surgery with no need to stay overnight in hospital.

There are three known types of cataracts

Nuclear cataract – The most common type, usually caused by ageing.

Cortical cataract Forms in the lens cortex that surrounds the nucleus of the eye.

Subcapsular cataract – Forms at the back of the lens, and can be caused by diabetes and other factors.




Eye Tests & Vouchers

A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma which can be treated if found soon enough. During a sight test other conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected.  For most people it is recommended that you should have an eye test every two years.

Free Eye tests – are available In England, Northern Ireland and Wales for eligible people eg

  • Aged under 16
  • Aged 16 – 18 and In full time education
  • Claiming Benefit such as Universal Credit
  • On a low income
  • Claiming Tax credits

In Scotland eye examinations  are free for everyone.


NHS Vouchers

If test results show that you do need glasses or contact lenses, then the NHS gives Optical Vouchers for those eligible.

Visit the Vision Matters website for more information http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/sight-tests/eligibility-and-vouchers

Or contact your healthcare advisor


Eye Health During the Pandemic

 It is important to attend eye appointments whether it’s a routine, regular or follow up appointment, or for an injection, or if you are in need of emergency advice. You should attend unless you have been advised otherwise or, of course if you are showing symptoms of coronavirus.

For advice on preparing for an appointment please follow this link to a video from the RNIB https://www.rnib.org.uk/sight-loss-advice/eye-health/eye-health-and-appointments-during-coronavirus

Where three  Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) offer their advice and tips on what you can expect

You can also download a transcript of the video

The following is taken directly from the RNIB website

Staff at hospitals and eye clinics are usually available to provide information and reassurance if you have any queries. Call them directly ahead of time; if no-one is available to take your call immediately, some may have recorded information available or leave a voicemail to request a call back. If you can’t make your appointment, always let your clinician, or ECLO, know so they can reschedule it and offer the time to other patients.


Eye care in England

Routine eye examinations were suspended in England when lockdown began in March 2020 but were restarted on 15 June 2020 in England only (there are different arrangements in place in the rest of the UK). Read about the precautions that opticians and optometrists have put in place to protect patients and staff from coronavirus.


Eye care in Scotland

If you live in Scotland, find out about the newly-created Emergency Eye Care Treatment Centres.


Eye care in Wales

Dr Gwyn William, Consultant Ophthalmologist, explains what is happening with eye care appointments across Wales due to coronavirus.


Sight Advice FAQ

Sight Advice FAQ, the website which answers common questions about living with sight loss, has information for on eye health and medical needs during coronavirus



Study on VI Running Outdoors During COVID-19

University Study on VI Running Outdoors During COVID-19

Are you visually impaired and usually run outdoors for exercise?


Are you visually impaired and have taken up outdoor running during social distancing?

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire and Solent University are investigating the impact of the coronavirus lockdown upon visually impaired (VI) runners. This study will explore VI peoples’ experiences of outdoor running and evaluate the impact of government measures –including two metre distancing – upon their participation. Data will be collected using online, semi-structured interviews in which participants will be invited to share their experiences.
You may take part in this research if you meet the following criteria:

  • Are a resident in the UK
  • Are aged 18 years or older
  • Have a visual impairment
  • Regularly participate in outdoor running as exercise OR have taken up outdoor running as exercise since social distancing guidelines were published on 23rd March 2020.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact either Dr Jess Macbeth by email at jlmacbeth@uclan.ac.uk or via twitter @Macbeth_Jess  or Dr Ben Powis by email at ben.powis@solent.ac.uk or via twitter @DrBenPowis




Keeping children with sight loss active at home

Keeping Children with Sight Loss Active at Home - Tips from Henshaws!

Keeping children with sight loss active at home

original post by  https://www.henshaws.org.uk

George is Henshaws Children and Young People’s (CYP) Enablement Officer, delivering weekend activities across Greater Manchester. George also has a background and lots of experience in sports for people with sight loss.

In this blog, George gives some tips to support children with sight loss to remain active whilst at home. It offers ideas of various sports and activities that you can do in the garden or in the house, and where possible it does this with the addition of audible instructions to support the needs of young people with a visual impairment.

The majority of children develop their learning visually whilst they grow from toddler to teenager; however, children with sight loss rely on other senses to develop this stage of learning. We hope that the examples of activities provided in this blog will help in some way to keep active within the environment of your own home.

But first a little note to parents and guardians…as your child grows and develops in confidence, they may want to attempt more challenging outdoor activities.  Whilst you may have your doubts about this, it is important to let young people try out new things and sometimes this means allowing them to take safe risks.  By trusting children to test their growing strength and abilities and face new challenges, you are enabling them to gain confidence and belief in their own decisions.

Here are some tips to stay safe while staying active

  • Walk around the space with your child to allow your child to become familiar with the area they are in. You may also want to explore the space by seeing how long it takes you to run/walk/hop/jump to the end of the garden.
  • Ensure the garden is secure; check for gaps in the fencing or hedge that a child might wander through.
  • Ensure your child is aware of any steps, obstacles, tables and chairs, and cover any ponds. In time, support your child to navigate these safely and independently.
  • Spend time ensuring your child becomes familiar with the size, shape and location of any different equipment or activities.
  • Look for edges, uneven surfaces, level changes and so on. Being able to notice changes in the environment and what they might mean is great for learning to travel independently; for example, noting a change underfoot from paving to gravel, or the difference between an area which feels ‘open’ and one that feels ‘closed’.
  • Finally, ensure you consider obstacles at and above your child’s head height as well as at ground level.

Most children enjoy throwing, catching and kicking a ball.  For children with a vision impairment, try to choose a ball according to the age and needs of your child (i.e. a small ball for a small child), and it is also good to use a ball of a good colour contrast to the floor they are playing on.  If your child has severe sight loss, try and use a ball that is audible, i.e. bearing/beads/led-shot inside, so it makes a rattle noise when you move or shake the ball. Try this idea for a ball game:

  1. If you have a ball and you are in the garden, try walking or running towards someone who is calling you towards them. They can call ‘travel’ so you know to travel with the ball.
  2. Try to keep the ball close to your feet at all times.
  3. They should call ‘stop’ if there is a reason for wanting you stop straight away.
  4. If there are 3-4 people available, they can be human cones standing approximately 2 metres away from each other in a straight line.
  5. You can dribble the ball around them and back to where you started.
  6. Each person can then take this in turns.
  7. You can set up a goal using something for goalposts.
  8. You can practice shooting the ball at the goalkeeper.
  9. You can dribble the ball around the human cones and shoot at the goal at the end.


Image shows a young boy wearing dark glasses, kneeling on the floor as a ball rolls towards him.
Image shows a young boy wearing dark glasses, kneeling on the floor as a ball rolls towards him.

Time on a trampoline or time on a swing in your garden (if you have them), is a fun way to exercise. Try spending time playing on each apparatus, particularly when the weather is nice!

Trampolines are a great way to have loads of fun, burn off that excess energy and increase your pulse rate. Learning to fall safely is a skill that you can develop.  Try these tips:

  1. You can assist your child on the trampoline by holding their hands while facing each other to help them with balance; help them feel the sense of bouncing while sitting, on their knees and standing on their feet.
  2. Practise bouncing on the soft surface of a trampoline from a sitting or kneeling position.
  3. Make it into a game so that your child doesn’t develop a fear of falling.
  4. Use a simple phrase like ‘hands in front’ so your child knows to put their hands in front of them, almost as though they are holding a beach ball, to make a protective arc.

All children fall, but if parents can maintain a positive and calm attitude it makes a big difference to how the child reacts. If you are positive it will help them be calm and feel safe.


Image shows three children sat on a large swing and smiling.

Have a go at setting up a fun, competitive skittles game at home:

  1. Explain the aim of the game and how the skittles are set up before beginning.
  2. Children with little or no sight, will need someone else to stand behind the pins and clap three times whilst shouting ‘skittles’ as a guide.
  3. If you do not have any skittles, plastic bottles filled with bells, dried pasta or rice make good skittles with an audible quality that allows a visually impaired child to tell whether they have hit them with the ball they are rolling.
Image shows a boy holding a blue cricket bat, he has just hit the ball and is starting to run.
Image shows a boy holding a blue cricket bat, he has just hit the ball and is starting to run.

If you have a set of cricket stumps with a bat and large size ball (size 2/3 is ideal), this is all you will need. If you do not have these, try using a marking on a wall or fence as the stumps, a tennis racket, or even use your hand to hit the ball with.

  1. The batsman stands with a bat in their hand in front of the stumps.
  2. The person holding the ball (bowler) stands approximately 15-20 yards distance away from the batter. If you have another set of stumps, place them were the bowler stands.
    • The bowler calls ‘Ready’
    • The batsman calls ‘Yes’
    • The bowler calls ‘play’ as they throw the ball towards the batsman.
  3. The ball must bounce at least twice before a totally blind or low sighted batsman, but must not be rolling.
  4. The batsman can run towards the bowler’s stumps to get 1 run and run back to their original batting stumps for 2 runs.
  5. People in the spaces available have to try and catch the ball to get the batsman out. A totally blind fielder can make a catch after the ball has bounced once.
  6. You can put a limit on how many hits with the bat a player has, for example each batter gets 10 chances to hit the ball and score runs. If they get out they lose a run but still continue batting until they have had their 10 chances.  You are out if the ball hits the stumps, a fielder catches the ball, or they are run out.

Relay games

These relay races for kids make fun activities.  Some can be run indoors, and some require no props.  Try these 11 kid-friendly relay races to get you started to bring the fun (and help you burn off some energy).


Boccia was first popular with people with cerebral palsy, but is now also played by people with other issues affecting their motor skills, such as muscular dystrophy.  It is also a great game for the whole family to play.  The aim of the game is to throw balls as close as possible to a target ball, or jack – a bit like bowls or French boules. Find out more at bocciaengland.org.uk

Check out this A to Z of sports and activities or take the Disney themed quiz to discover which sports and activities could be perfect for you.  Are you ready to find a new favourite?

Image shows a young girl with a young boy, stood in a gym.
Image shows a young girl with a young boy, stood in a gym.

Online accessible sports and activities

Eyes-Free Fitness – Free Accessible Fitness For All

You just discovered the home of a complete set of the Eyes-Free Fitness audio exercise programs.  All programs are completely free for your downloading pleasure — no strings attached!  These programs allow you to stretch, strengthen, condition, and tone your body, all without the benefit of eyesight.  All of these programs are thoroughly described with extra supplementary audio and text materials, should they be needed.  Watch the videos here Eyes-Free Fitness

LuSu Sports

Louise and Sue are fab! They run an inclusive and accessible sports equipment and training business, and have given sessions to Henshaws Children and Young people which have always been great fun! Check out their website http://lususports.com and follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LuSusports/ for lots of inclusive sporty games activities.

British Blind Sports #stayinworkout

Check out British Blind Sport’s new initiative #stayinworkout on their website https://britishblindsport.org.uk/stay-in-work-out with lots of information and links to audio and accessible home sports workouts; include yoga and pilates, and information and ideas specifically for children and young people.

Look UK

Our friends over at Look UK have just launched Look Active on their YouTube channel, with daily yoga and fitness videos for CYP with sight loss – check it out!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCigfQuPUDaWd_z0hUuAuyjA

Parasport home workouts

Parasport teamed up with Kris Saunders-Stowe, a qualified fitness instructor, to bring you this short, easy to follow guide to stretching and improving your mobility.  This workout routine is ideal for people who might not have taken part in sport or activity for a while, and are looking for that first step into getting active again. There’s no equipment necessary, all you’ll need is a little bit of space to follow Kris’ instructions. Click here to watch the video.