Walking as an activity is immensely healthy and invigorating and can take many forms. In the context of a sporting activity we consider it to be where a group of like-minded individuals come together to participate in a scheduled and organised walk through a particular terrain/environment, covering a set distance over a certain time.It is an ideal family activity where adults and children alike can enjoy an activity together as equals.
Of course, all a visually-impaired person really needs to do is get out and walk, taking with them their guide dog, any mobility aid required or a sighted guide where this is preferred or available. The selected route to be walked will be determined by a number of factors, including one’s fitness, personal safety, knowledge of the area, personal preferences and time available to mention a few. An individual can walk alone (if safe to do so), with a single companion, in a group, or on an organised scheduled walking activity.A walk may be as short as 10 minutes or as long as four or five hours. To increase fitness, you should walk briskly enough to get mildly short of breath, but still be able to talk, and to perspire lightly.
Benefits of walking
To many, walking is an activity that may be taken for granted. There are so many benefits to be derived from a regular brisk walk, both from a physical and mental perspective. They include general health, muscle tone and strength, weight control, sleep quality and a general feeling of wellbeing. It can also be a very sociable activity.
The only equipment required is a good pair of shoes. These should be comfortable and supportive and worn in gradually so as not to cause blisters or calluses.
Vision-impaired walking groups
The main vision-impaired walking group is organised by the National League of the Blind Walking Group. There are other vi walking groups, mainly in the cities, around Ireland. The biggest group outside Dublin can be found in Cork.
Scheduled walksVision Sports Ireland is happy to facilitate leaders of scheduled walks – such as those organised in Dublin and Cork, We would encourage any blind or visually impaired person to join the many walks being organised. Walks are organised on a regular basis and accommodate different levels of ability.
Walking is an ideal way of taking exercise, enjoying the fresh air and to meet new friends or catch up and socialise with old ones!