Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

CVI Gets Healthy

Anna Trotman and Miguel Eugenio walking across the street, using white canes

In October, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) kicked off its sixth annual National Fitness Challenge with a grant from the Anthem Foundation, and CVI joined 16 other organizations across the U.S. in this effort to encourage kids and adults who are blind and visually impaired to increase their physical fitness levels and live healthier, more active lives. The Fitness Challenge is supported locally by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation and the Amerigroup Foundation.

Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity have higher energy levels, a lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, many people who are blind or visually impaired in the U.S. don’t participate in even limited physical activity due to barriers and misconceptions about their abilities. CVI hopes that this program will help change that for some of our clients and it seems to be working. Two of our participants are already seeing the benefit of moving more.

Twenty-three year old Miguel Eugenio joined the National Fitness Challenge to be more active. “I play a sport called Goalball, an adaptive sport for the blind and the visually impaired and before joining the Fitness Challenge, I never did any exercise outside of my weekly Goalball practice,” says Miguel. “I came to the conclusion that if I was an athlete I should act like one. After joining the challenge I feel more active and my energy levels are higher than ever before. So far my body has seen minor changes, but I do feel absolutely comfortable within my own body which is a really good feeling. I am more motivated to go outside and run a mile or at the minimum just wiggle my toes to make sure my body is awake and in motion.”

CVI Client Shlisha Gillins, 41, says that being part of the Fitness Challenge has motivated her to be a better version of herself. “It has encouraged me to be more active and to eat healthier. I like that you can set goals for yourself and work hard to reach them. I feel a huge difference in my energy levels.”

The National Fitness Challenge runs through the end of May 2019. CVI participants will be taking part in a 5k or 10k event, trying adaptive climbing and being part of CVI’s Paralympic Day in April. The community is invited to join us for all of these activities so be watching for more details about each event.