Fighting Childhood Obesity: Exercises for Children with ADHD and Autism

Fighting Childhood Obesity

We are fighting childhood obesity, a rising concern in recent years. With an increase in sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits, it’s becoming more challenging to keep our children healthy. Particularly, children with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) tend to have a higher risk of obesity due to unique challenges posed by their neurodevelopmental disorders. The lack of physical activity, coupled with their innate sensory difficulties, typically results in weight gain, further enhancing the need for obesity prevention strategies for neurodiverse kids.

Special Strong Find a Location Near Me

Explore effective strategies in “Fighting Childhood Obesity: Exercises for Children with ADHD and Autism.” Uncover tailored exercise routines promoting physical activity, addressing the unique needs of neurodivergent children. Discover ways to manage childhood obesity through inclusive fitness, incorporating behavioral interventions for optimal results. This insightful guide emphasizes an active lifestyle’s positive impact on mental health while fostering healthy habits. From sensory-friendly exercises to adaptive sports, unlock a comprehensive approach to promote well-being in children with ADHD and autism. Join us in the journey to create a healthier future for neurodiverse kids through engaging, purposeful, and inclusive physical activities.

Childhood Obesity Prevention and Why It’s Important

Prevention is better than cure, especially when fighting childhood obesity. It leads to numerous health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and even mental health issues. Thus, it’s crucial to manage obesity by promoting physical health and fitness in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Exercise for Children with ADHD

Implementing ADHD and autism in kids exercise strategies is vital in managing and fighting childhood obesity. Children with ADHD often grapple with hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, which can hinder their ability to engage in structured exercises. But this doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy physical activities. What they need are specifically designed pediatric fitness programs that involve both active and sensory-friendly exercises, crafted for their unique needs.

Incorporating short, intense activities like sprinting or jumping jacks can be effective, as these exercises require less prolonged focus – a common challenge for ADHD-diagnosed kids. For some children, adaptive sports such as football, basketball, or other team activities might provide a dual purpose. They require physical effort, essential for fighting childhood autism obesity, and also encourage social interaction, which could help improve their attention span and other ADHD symptoms.

Physical Activity for Children with Autism

Physical activity for children with autism can be more challenging due to sensory processing difficulties and motor skill issues often occurring in ASD. However, it is vital, especially in fighting childhood obesity. Like their peers with ADHD, they benefit from fitness routines crafted specifically for their needs.

To increase their physical activity, introduce them to sensory-friendly exercises for kids. This could include activities like swimming, horseback riding, yoga, or martial arts. These sports don’t just help in fighting childhood obesity, but they also help improve balance, coordination and, perhaps most importantly, can provide soothing sensory feedback.

Managing Obesity in Children

While implementing exercise for neurodiverse children is pivotal in fighting childhood obesity, there’s more to the equation. A balanced diet, behavioral interventions for childhood obesity, and fostering healthy habits for children with ADHD and autism all come into play.

It is essential to create a positive environment wherechildren feel comfortable exercising. An inclusive, patient, and encouraging atmosphere, free from unnecessary pressure and judgement, is the objective.

Behavioral Interventions for Childhood Obesity: A Wholesome Approach

Behavioral interventions are about bringing gradual, sustainable changes to a child’s lifestyle to promote good health, and they are crucial in fighting childhood obesity. Adapting an active lifestyle for children is a fundamental aspect of this. Encourage outdoor activities for ADHD and autism to foster a love for nature and physical exertion. Make fitness a part of daily family activities – a weekend hike, a walk in the park, a game of catch in the yard, or a bike ride around town.

Combining physical activity with nutrition education helps children understand the significance of a healthy diet. Introduce them to the correlation between food, mood, and physical health to cultivate healthy eating habits.

Fitness for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Children with special needs require unique strategies to manage obesity. From ADHD and autism exercise strategies to fitness routines that embrace their neurodiversity, there’s a lot we can do.

Pediatric fitness programs for ADHD and autism include personal training sessions, group classes, and often, a combination of the two. Trained professionals can customize these programs to suit a child’s unique needs.

Adaptive sports for children with special needs provide an avenue for an active, inclusive environment. Engaging in such sports helps fight childhood obesity while enhancing their social skills and self-confidence.

Moreover, sensory-friendly exercises enable kids with neurodevelopmental disorders to remain physically active in a manner that aligns with their sensory preferences – fighting childhood obesity, yet decreasing the risk of sensory overload.

Playing Tag

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!

Special Strong provides adaptive fitness for children, adolescents, and adults with mental, physical and cognitive challenges. Start your own Special Strong gym franchise today and create a lasting impact on your community.