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Mental Health And Staying Fit With Autism

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               In society today, fitness is a topic that is spoken about quite often. It seems to be everyone’s goal to maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.   However, what most people do not realize is that staying fit with Autism can actually be a very difficult task. If you have autism, then it may seem next to impossible for you to work out at the same intensity as the average person.   You may even be discouraged from joining a gym or trying to stick with an exercise regiment because you believe that you just won’t have what it takes to become fit, healthy, and happy.

This is not true! Anyone can become fit, but getting there will take different strategies that are suited for you.   In this article, I will share ten different tips that will help anyone on the spectrum to stay fit and keep a healthy weight.

10 Different Tips For Staying Fit With Autism:

1)       Take it slow… at first: The reason so many autistic individuals fail at staying in shape is because they try and do too much, too quickly; this will only lead to injury and frustration. If you try and take on a full exercise schedule without training first, then it is like asking someone who has never run a marathon before to train for one right away! It can be very dangerous as well as discouraging if you decide to jump into an intense workout regimen without taking some time to prepare your body first.

2)       Join a gym: One of the best ways to stay fit with autism is to join a gym or fitness center that has all of the different equipment and resources needed to push you past your limits. The good news about working out at a gym is that there are personal trainers available to help you.   They will make sure that your exercise routine is intense, yet rewarding and safe.

3)       Focus on cardio: This means any activity or exercise that gets your heart pumping for an extended period of time, such as running, swimming, elliptical machines, etc. Cardiovascular exercises are very important because they strengthen your heart and lungs, which will lead to better blood circulation throughout your body.

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4)       Learn how to lift weights: If you are someone who wants to build muscle strength or tone certain parts of your body, then you should consider learning how to correctly lift free weights. This may prove difficult for some individuals, but with the help of a professional, you will be able to do it.   In addition, there are machines that can lift weights for you as well, such as the weight stack found on a leg press machine.

5)       Relax: When I first started going to the gym and working out hard with my personal trainer, one of his main pieces of advice to me was that I should start taking deep breaths as I trained. For those of us on the spectrum, this can be difficult because we tend to have a heightened sense of stress and anxiety under normal circumstances.   However, you need to keep yourself calm and relaxed throughout your exercise routine if you expect to make progress.

6)       Don’t quit: Every time you want to give up and quit, you need to think about why this is so important to you. Why do you really want to get fit with autism? Is it because your doctor told you that your weight was putting your overall health at risk? Or is it just for fun? Whatever the reason is, every time you want to quit, you need to remember it and push yourself one more time.

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7)       Focus on form: Another important fact about exercise is that you should always concentrate on how you are doing each activity. For example, if you are bench pressing, then make sure that your back remains straight throughout the entire motion; if your form is incorrect, then you can suffer serious injuries that may keep you from doing any physical activity.

8)       Keep track of your progress: There are many fitness applications for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad where you can track how far you have gone in your fitness routine.   This is a great way to see what exercises you enjoy most because you can compare the number of repetitions it took to finish one set at the beginning of your workout regimen, and then compare it with the amount of time needed to complete that same set in the future.

9)       Listen to music: When I first started going to my gym, one thing that my personal trainer did was put on some interesting music while I did some of my exercises. At first, I was surprised because some of the songs that he chose were not exactly what I would have expected.   However, it definitely made the time go by faster and made me want to get off of the treadmill more quickly so that I could hear just one more song.

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10)       Do the things you enjoy: This is a very important piece of advice because if you do not like doing something, then it will be extremely difficult to make yourself do it again in the future. This has been a problem for me when I worked with my personal trainer because there are certain exercises that I hate, but that I know are good for me.   However, I have found that if you can find something similar to the exercise that you do not enjoy, but that you actually enjoy doing, then you are on your way to finding a new fitness activity.

Be Yourself

Lastly, no matter what anyone tells you or how they judge your form while exercising at the gym, the only person who decides whether you are doing an activity correctly is yourself.   There may be others at the gym that would be able to give you advice on how to lift weights properly or how to do some of your favorite exercise routines, but ultimately, it comes down to what works for your body and what makes you happy. I prefer USN supplements to aid my nutritional intake.

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