When one of my friends introduced me to BlindAlive’s Eyes Free Fitness audio workouts a few years ago, I became more interested in learning about nonvisual exercise programs and ways to follow along with exercise and dance classes without having to rely on visual cues. There are a ton of different audio workout programs available for people that are free or low-cost, and today I will be sharing some of my favorite options for audio-based exercise programs and audio fitness classes.
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How I play audio workout recordings
There are a few different options for playing audio workouts. Here are some of my favorite ideas that I’ve tested:
MP3 or audio files
- Downloading the mp3 files to my iPod or other device
- Play mp3 files using Amazon Echo Dot as a wireless speaker
- Ask Cortana to play each audio track
- Listen to a workout on my computer
- Display videos on the YouTube mobile apps
- Broadcast the video to my TV or projector using Chromecast
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Smart Speakers
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: MP3 Players
- Ways I Use My Google Chromecast For Virtual Learning
Eyes Free Fitness
Eyes Free Fitness is a free series of audio-based workout guides that are designed for people with vision loss to exercise in their homes on their own schedule. The workouts are designed for beginner/intermediate level users, with themes such as yoga, pilates, sculpting, and stretching. It’s similar to an exercise video, except there are no visuals involved. Workouts can be accessed through YouTube, though audio tracks can also be downloaded online using a YouTube-to-mp3 converter.
Update 2023- the Dropbox links for Eyes Free Fitness workouts are now on the Metro Blind Sport website, which is linked below.
- Eyes-Free Fitness – YouTube
- YouTube to MP3 Converter (mp3-convert.org)
- Audio Exercise Programs – Metro Blind Sport
Apple Fitness Plus
Apple Fitness+ is a paid audio and video workout program available on iOS devices for $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year. There is a huge library of workouts including HIIT, core workouts, Pilates, and other activities, some of which require the purchase of additional exercise equipment such as weights or mats. Apple Fitness+ works with VoiceOver and other assistive technologies, and came highly recommended by one of my friends who enjoys fitness and trying out different workouts at home.
- Apple Fitness+ – Apple
- How To Use VoiceOver With Low Vision
- How To Make iPad Accessible for Low Vision
Aaptiv is another paid audio workout program available for iOS and Android that offers unlimited workouts for $14.99 a month or $99.99 a year, with free trials available. Aaptiv offers several AI-powered customization options, and one of my friends appreciated that they didn’t have to look at the screen in order to follow along with different workouts. Some employers and colleges may offer free or discounted subscriptions to Aaptiv through an employee health plan.
Audio described workout playlists
There are several different audio described workout playlists on YouTube from various blind and low vision athletic and fitness organizations, including Metro Blind Sports, NWABA, British Blind Sport, and others. These are similar to BlindAlive, but mostly focus on gentle exercises and stretching.
- 30-Day Audio-Described Workout Challenge – YouTube
- Gentle Exercise – YouTube
- Exercise Challenge – YouTube
- Get Yourself Active – at Home – YouTube
- Inclusive Tennis at Home (lta.org.uk)
- LOOK Active! – YouTube
20-Minute Yoga Podcast
There are several fitness podcasts that offer audio based exercise classes, and Yoga Download is an example of an audio fitness podcast that is available for free through iTunes. There are several different types of classes and themes available, including classes that target specific muscle groups such as the shoulder or legs. I’ve also linked another exercise podcast from Spotify called 10 Today, which features gentle exercise and stretching.
Another popular yoga channel for blind and low vision users is Yoga With Adriene, which features highly descriptive YouTube videos, as well as Yoga With Ness.
- 20 min. Yoga Sessions from YogaDownload.com on Apple Podcasts
- 10 Today – Broadcast 01 by 10 Today (soundcloud.com)
- Yoga With Adriene – YouTube
- Yoga with Ness – YouTube
TakeLessons personal training
Another recommendation from a friend, the TakeLessons platform from Microsoft offers a mix of free group classes and low-cost private lessons for a variety of topics, including personal training. In the private classes, users can request more detailed audio descriptions and go through a guided workout with their own trainer from the comfort of their home.
- Private Lessons & Group Classes with Local & Online Teachers (takelessons.com)
- Dance Classes and Low Vision
Creating custom workouts with Amazon Alexa
My physical therapist recommended that I create audio exercises to guide me through my at-home stretches, so I created a custom skill with Alexa Skill Blueprints for my physical therapy activities, as well as do other workouts that were recommended to me through other sources. I have an entire post about creating custom workouts linked below.
Other options for audio workouts and audio fitness programs
- Spotify and Amazon Music offer several playlists for yoga, meditation and other audio workouts in their library- I’ve linked a few sources in How Amazon Alexa Can Help You Sleep
- Some popular workout books and exercise books are available as audiobooks or in accessible formats. Read more in How Amazon Alexa Can Help You Read
- Want to learn how to describe dance workout videos? Check out Creating Audio Description For Dance Tutorials With YouDescribe
- Looking for more audio activities? Check out Audio and Nonvisual Entertainment Ideas For Blind and Low Vision