Wellness and fitness are very important to me. Not just because I like the feeling of being strong, but because it directly heals my complex post traumatic stress disorder. From that particular perspective (of having C-PTSD), it is medicinal.
The problem that I usually run while trying to engage in specific exercise programs is that I am deaf.
Being Deaf and Fitness
Being deaf isn’t a big deal, but if I want to exercise with others or join a program, I have issues in being able to lip read. If an instructor isn’t looking at me, or if I can’t put their speech into context, I’m lost.
Yoga will usually work for me in a class even though I can’t hear the teacher, because I can position myself so that people are all around me and I can figure out what we need to do by watching others. The same goes for most cardio types of workouts or aerobics.
As a mom with years of no childcare (or very limited) and a super tight budget, classes were not even an option. I had to find something that I could do at home.
Towards that end, I experimented with a ton of things that I found on YouTube and online before sticking with BeachBody.
BeachBody: Why It Makes Sense for the Deaf
BeachBody is a company that produces many fitness programs that go across the board in fitness levels as well as in genres. They have the buff guys who yell at you kind of program as well as the ripped older ladies who do the pilates and full-body ground lifts. They have programs for just focusing on the butt as well as ones for people with really limited time.
All of that is neither here nor there as far as us deaf go, but this is the one thing they all have in common: THEY ARE BEAUTIFULLY CAPTIONED.
Every. Single. One.
All of the programs are gorgeously and professionally captioned. Easy to read, large captions.
Just from that end, being really well captioned, BeachBody is deaf-friendly.
But not all of the programs are great for this. I can’t, for example, do Pi-Yo (the combination of Pilates and Yoga) because we end up in positions where it’s really hard to read the screen (actually risking muscle damage to come out of the position quickly and read the captions) and also because the teacher talks so much that it’s exhausting trying to read along – and annoying too, because most of her talk is just not necessary.
I recently started BeachBody on Demand .
I started it for 3 reasons:
- I had run through all of my BeachBody DVD’s
- I live on the grid now: full access to streaming services!
- My friend did it and said it was good
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! I can’t speak highly enough of it. You pay $15/month and have access to ALL of the programs, to meal plans, recipes, absolutely everything. It’s a fantastic value. You can sign up for a free 2 week trial period here: try BeachBody on demand.
Like I said, there are a lot of programs within BeachBody. There are dance programs, hip-hop, weight-training, cardio, pilates/yoga, combination programs and fratboy-meets-military kind (barf). All of the programs that I have tried have first-rate captions and also have what they call a “modifier” – that is, someone who shows you how to do the program at an easier level.
Out of all the programs, I have tried or completed:
- 21 Day Fix: 30 minutes long with a complete food and food measuring system
- 21 Day Fix Extreme (which is not really extreme – it’s just like a second serving of 21 Day Fix) – all 30 minutes long, with the food and food measuring system
- T25– this is Shaun T.’s Focus 25: exercises for 25 minutes a day, with nutrition plan
- PiYo – between 30 -40 minutes a day, I couldn’t finish because of the captioning issues noted above. It includes a nutrition system but no food portion system
Each one of those programs is about $70.
Compare that with just doing it on Demand – any program you want! – with food guides and recipes ready to download or look up. You do not get portion measurement cups with Demand though – but that’s pretty easy to remedy – just go to the portion conversion table and continue without the special colored containers.
Captions Look Like This:
I don’t want this to be an ad for BeachBody on demand.
My honest desire here is just to share with you what has really been working for me. If I had access to streaming services like this when I lived on the Lost Coast, I would have been kicking myself for not subscribing to this before. I spent waaaaaaaay more money on buying the DVD’s and the systems and so forth than I would have if I had just subscribed. $15/month isn’t much for what you get.
If you are (like I was) struggling to find deaf-friendly captioned fitness programs, give this a try.
I am currently on Day 4 of the 80 Day Obsession – if you identify as a woman, please join my free, supportive Facebook group! You DO NOT have to follow BeachBody (or any fitness program in particular); it’s just a welcoming space for women to talk about fitness, wellness, becoming more of who we want to be. It’s disability-friendly (of course), all women welcome. It’s linked here.
Also, I’m keeping track of my progress over on Instagram, if you’ like to join in or follow along. I’m @mama_be_strong.
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E). Deaf, with C-PTSD and TBI, she’s also a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.