You know that regular exercise has profound effects on your physical health, but it also has lasting positive repercussions in brain health. Exercise can be especially beneficial to those with special needs. Here are 5 ways exercise helps people with ADHD and Autism, specifically:
1. Exercise Increases Dopamine
You’ve probably heard that exercise releases endorphins, which results in mood improvement, but it also releases dopamine. Not only does this neurotransmitter regulate mood, but it also helps regulate attention span in those with ADHD and Autism.
2. Exercise Balances Norepinephrine
Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that lives in the arousal center of the brain. In those with ADHD and Autism, norepinephrine fluctuates rapidly, making them startle more easily and react disproportionately to mildly stressful situations. During exercise, this neurotransmitter decreases and becomes more balanced, helping people with ADHD and Autism become more centered and focused.
3. Exercise Centers the Cerebellum
Fidgeting and a general inability to sit still for extended periods of time is a symptom of both ADHD and Autism. These symptoms are caused by an overactive cerebellum. Exercise plays the hero again by centering the cerebellum to lessen fidgeting and hyperactivity.
4. Exercise Lessens Medication Side Effects
Adults who take medication for their ADHD have reported trouble falling asleep at the end of the day as a side effect. However, exercise can help wear your body out so that it’s easier to fall asleep and combat the side effects of ADD/ADHD medications.
5. Exercise Improves Motor Skills
Those with Autism, in particular, may find certain movements to be a challenge. Frequent exercise – even at just 30-minute intervals, twice a week – can improve motor skills in those with Autism. To work out these skills, try running, playing catch or kicking a ball around.
Exercises that Help People with ADHD and Autism
While general exercise is generally helpful, there are specific exercises that can specifically help those on the spectrum and with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Read some of our past blogs and watch our exercise videos to see workouts tailored to your unique needs:
- Special Needs Exercise Videos
- Workouts that Reduce Behaviors
- Home Workout Equipment that Will Inspire Home Workouts
- Sensory Workouts for People with ADHD and Autism (Coming Soon!)
Reap the Benefits of Exercise Today
At Special Strong, we believe fitness – both in the body and in the mind – should be accessible to all. We employ trained professionals who understand the intricacies of ADHD and Autism and can teach you the right exercises to perform to help ease the symptoms. Sign up today for private training sessions or group classes to start reaping the benefits of exercise. Call our office to speak to one of our friendly representatives about any specials we may be running as well.
Special Strong provides fitness and nutrition for special needs children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other disabilities. Through our online training platform, we also provide special needs fitness certification courses for personal trainers and service providers who want to work autism and other disabilities.