What Fitness Activities can Visually Impaired People Do?

The first order of business to get out of the way is that if by fitness you mean lose weight, that’s not what this is about. Losing weight happens in the kitchen, not by exercise alone. Losing weight is not a bad thing to do at all. Most of us could probably stand to lose some.

At least in my experience with my visual impairment, we can do anything. There may be something that I have not attempted, but everything I have tried has been with at least some success. Some of them were more difficult to learn than others or require a little more care on my part.

I am deeply grateful that my parents raised me to think that I could do almost anything. My blindness never defined me. It was just a part of who I am. I grew up running and playing and riding bikes and all of that fun stuff.

Back after my dad died at a young age and I wanted to do my best to get in good shape, I joined Crossfit. Some things that we did take longer for me to learn and others went pretty quickly. In the end I was able to do almost anything except for a few skills totally unrelated to my vision. I’ll go over some here and how I make it work.


Yes, legally blind people can run. For me, it’s a little slower as I pay extra attention to my surroundings, mostly by listening. I don’t. That certainly slows me down a little, but at least I am doing something for these short runs that we do for Street Parking.

I always stop and look ad mostly listen at the one intersection on our alley. One day several years back, one of the trucks from the person who lives there’s business came barreling around the corner through the stop sign. He was probably drunk.

Olympic Lifts

I do run into the problem sometimes with these of being slightly off center on the bar. It really doesn’t make a difference for me until I get up near my max weight. If I could visually see it I would have less of an issue. For some reason I just don’t feel the knurling that well.

Split jerks did take me a little while to get down. Relying on my good eye has just made me favor one side too much, so when I’d do the split jerk, I would do the same. The catch is I’d visually favor my weaker side and tend to be unbalanced.

It took me watching many videos where I can see up close and much better than in person to understand some aspects of both the clean and the snatch. If I had a bar here at the time, I might have picked up on them faster, but I didn’t have the means to watch a video in at the old Crossfit gym.