Fighting Childhood Obesity: Exercises for Children with ADHD and Autism

It’s not an exaggeration to state that childhood obesity is an epidemic in our country. However, those with special needs, including ADHD and autism, are at particular risk of becoming obese. When sedentary activities, such as watching hours of TV or playing video games, become habits, poor health is inevitable. To help temper this problem, here are some fun exercises for children with ADHD and Autism:

Playing Tag

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Cardio is one of the most neglected forms of exercise. Encourage your child to run around and get their heart racing with a fun game of tag! Traditional tag is great, but there are a number of ways to make it a little more fun.

You might try playing pretend – as if you’re a zombie chasing a lone survivor or a dinosaur chasing a theme park attendant. If these themes seem a little too scary for your child’s liking, you can always change up the scenario. If you get too tired to run around with them, you can call a playdate!


When people equate jumping with working out, they usually think of jumping jacks or, for more hardcore athletes, burpees. For a child though, jumping can be a wonderful form of entertainment – especially if you’re joining in on the fun too!

You can combine jumping with learning math. Instead of saying, “Jump five times,” say, “What is five times two?” and have your child “jump” the answer.

Or, you can put a mark on a wall to see if your child can jump high enough to reach it. Be careful to place the mark at a reasonable but challenging spot though. It’s important to get your child to push him or herself without discouraging them.

Wheeling Around

Introducing “wheels” into playtime can take fun exercise to another level. There are many different variations to choose from, such as bikes, scooters, skateboards, roller skates, rollerblades and more! If your child is new to these activities, you can help him or her learn over a flat, soft patch of grass while wearing the protective gear, to lessen the blow of a fall.

If your child is familiar with wheeling around, then you might encourage them to choose this activity over watching TV by joining them, inviting friends over or creating a small obstacle course!

Unleashing the Special Strong Within

The leading health experts and personal trainers at Special Strong believe that fitness should be accessible to all. Not only do they want to put a stop to childhood obesity, but they also want to show the emotional and mental benefits of these exercises for children with ADHD and autism. Regular exercise can improve confidence, self-esteem, focus, balance, attention span and so much more.

If you have questions about how fitness can help your child with ADHD or autism, contact us today. If you’re ready to take a leap of faith and see the change in your child, sign up for a private training session or for one of our local, DFW-based boot camps. We take clients as young as eight. Sign up today!



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