Tips for VIPs: Getting active

Posted: Monday 14 January 2019

What are your top tips for staying active as a visually impaired person?

In our winter edition of Sideview we included some of your advice about exercise, activity and getting moving.

Wheels or water

Cycling on a tandem is great fun, because you can chat easily as you pedal along. I have a tandem in my garage with the rear wheel clamped into a turbo trainer. This means I can use the same bike on my own when nobody is available to pilot.

When swimming, ask a friend to tap your shoulder with a float as you approach the end of the lane.

My local swimming pool was very helpful and, where possible, made a lane just for me. It’s worth asking when the quiet times are and they are usually very willing to help.

Starting at home

If you have gym equipment at home, mark key buttons and settings with bright spots of paint, stickers or raised dots, and mark the floor around the edge of machines with contrasting-coloured tape.

Pounding the streets

Depending on the level of vision, a short length of rope, held by a guide and the VI person, is all that is needed to go out running safely and with confidence. Start off on a proper running track where the surface is nice and flat, and build up to street running and even cross country. Search the database at to find a trained guide runner near you.

Or join a parkrun – a welcoming, non-competitive 5k run near you. They happen all over the UK each Saturday morning. Find and contact your local one at

Try something new

Ask whether your gym offers a free pass for friends or relatives who can support you.

British Blind Sport has information on clubs