Physical health and fitness is essential for everyday tasks, such as getting in and out of chairs, carrying the shopping, managing household chores, even lifting the children. This is especially true as we age.
Yet people with low vision and those who feel unsteady on their feet may be tempted to do less. Consequently, muscles can get weaker and joints stiffen, lessening our ability to be well balanced.
With regular exercise, physical fitness can be achieved along with improved balance, muscle strength, mobility and reaction time. As a result, general health is improved and the risk of an injury following a fall can be decreased. Being physically active can also help you manage other chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis and depression.
Studies have shown that a relatively small weight loss, of 5 to 10% of current weight, can result in significant reduction of risk.
What you can do:
- Keep as active as possible. Physical activity maintains health and helps to improve balance, muscle strength and flexibility
Eat a well balanced diet (with plenty of eye friendly foods) and drink an adequate amd approriate amount of water, especially in hot weather
- Consider orientation and mobility training if you have low vision and need help to navigate around your home, neighbourhood or wider community
- Talk to your local low vision service provider to ensure you have the skills, aids and technology to enable you to get around safely
- Ask a low vision service provdier about modifications that can make your envionrment safer
- Contact your local council for information on local activities
- Call Blind Sports Australia for information on sporting organisations and activities for people with low vision
- Have regular check-ups with your eye health professional to ensure you are doing everything possible to best utilise your current level of vision
- Speak with your doctor to ensure your medical conditions are well managed and medications are regularly reviewed
- Talk to your doctor about other health conditions, don't wait until they become more serious
- Allow adequate time for your eyes to adjust to different levels of light, especially when going inside after being outdoors
- Purchase comfortable, firm-fitting, flat shoes and slippers with rounded, low, broad heels and slip-resistant soles that grip
- Don’t walk in socks
- See a doctor or podiatrist if your feet feel painful or swollen, or there are sensations of tingling or pins and needles
- Consult a doctor or podiatrist if there are any changes in the shape of your feet such as bunions
- Consult a podiatrist or physiotherapist for assistance if you have difficulty finding suitable shoes because of foot problems