Now let me be clear about this I hate exercise I am not one of those people who can spring out of bed and jump into my work out gear, and then go and say go for a run for half an hour and embrace the fresh air and the surroundings and then come back and give the following commentary.

“It’s such a beautiful day out there. You know the sun’s so bright it’s almost blinding, like shards of glass just piercing the clouds. Oh, every second of my journey here is emblazoned on my memory. I feel fantastic”

I am not that person.

In reality it’s more like this:

I come back breathless, and in need of some cold water and a shower due to the huge amount of sweat that protrudes out of my body.

But running or any type of physical activity for me isn’t about just feeling healthy it’s also about balancing my mental health.

The benefits of exercise on your mental health:

Mental Health Benefits

It can decrease your symptoms of depression

Multiple studies have concluded that regular aerobic exercise—and primarily jogging or brisk walking— reduces the symptoms of clinical depression.

Improves your learning abilities

Exercise can improve your capacity to learn and retain new information.

Sharpens your memory

Exercise can give you a sharper memory.

Alleviates anxiety

Running and other vigorous forms of exercise can reduce anxiety symptoms and help you relax.

Helps you sleep better

Exercise can aid you in helping you get a quicker onset of sleep, as well as a deeper sleep, and the reduction of symptoms in those with insomnia.

Boosts self-esteem

Your self-esteem can be improved by exercising on a regular basis.

Increases your creativity

Exercise can increase your creatively output.

But recently I have concluded that running isn’t aiding me in achieving my goals and so a google search on the internet began.

Boy oh boy did google make me search to find someone in my local area.

Eventually I did locate someone and last week I went for my consultation and to discuss my fitness goals.

Fast forward to this week and on Wednesday I am seeing Danielle at 10.15 AM for my first PT lesson.

For me I am not looking at the aesthetics of getting a so called ‘perfect body’ for me it’s more about learning how to lose some weight and being informed enough to know how to maintain my weight loss and what exercises I need to do in order to achieve this.

The other reason that I chose a PT over a gym was for Autistic reasons.

I didn’t want to be in a noisy over crowded gym with its constant noise from the TV blaring out loud music can exacerbate my Autism and over stimulate my senses these include hypersensitivity to sound, sights and smell. Those stimuli can trigger reactions for an Autistic person like myself. I am also dealing with constant announcements, loud noises, smells, and big crowds of people.

So, having a PT with a gym inside her own home works for me on a personal level as well as a professional one. I have the benefit of feeling relaxed and welcomed and I am not competing with other participants in the gym to try and hear what she is telling me to do on which machine.

I’m looking forward to seeing my results and how I work and interact with Danielle (who I did disclose that I was Autistic) because I felt that it was important that she knew and if she had any question’s I could answer them.

What I could achieve from working out at the gym

In order to make sure that Danielle was informed I emailed her the following

If you were with me or you witnessed me having one would you know what to do?

Here then is my eight-step guide to assist you in being more aware and knowledgeable;

If the person is verbal, ask them what is bothering them. Dependant on what it is; say for example it’s a loud noise, take them away from the area (move them somewhere quiet if possible).  

During severe sensory overload, people who are ordinarily verbal may suddenly lose the ability to speak. 

If the person is verbal, ask them what is bothering them. Dependant on what it is; say for example it’s a loud noise, take them away from the area (move them somewhere quiet if possible).  

During severe sensory overload, people who are ordinarily verbal may suddenly lose the ability to speak. 

This is due to severe overstimulation and will pass with relaxation time. If someone has lost the ability to speak, ask only yes/no questions that they can answer with thumbs up/thumbs down motion.

Turn off any television, music etc. and avoid using light touch. 

Often, it is the case that as an autistic person have problems with sensory input; they hear, feel, and see things much more intensely than others do. It is as if the volume for everything has been turned up when it needs to be muted.

 Offer a massage. Many Autistic people have benefited from massage therapy. (Please ask permission before doing this as some of us don’t like being touched in any way)

 Don’t try to prevent stimming. Stimming is basically a series of repetitive movements that are calming mechanisms for autistic people.

Examples of stimming include: hand flapping, finger flicking, and rocking. Stimming can help prevent or reduce symptoms of meltdowns etc.

If,however you find that the person is hurting themselves (e.g. they are hitting their fists on things, or they are banging their head against the wall etc.) then do your best to stop this. 

 Offer to apply gentle pressure on their body. If the person is sitting up, stand behind him/her and cross your arms over their chest. Again, please make sure they you have that person’s full permission, don’t assume that you can just go ahead and perform this. 

 If they’re thrashing or flailing, move any objects that could cause harm to them out-of-the-way. Protect their head by either putting it on your lap or putting a pillow underneath it. Also let them know that you are there even if you don’t speak, just by being there means that we have someone we can trust to help us through this. 

Remove any uncomfortable clothing if they are OK with it. Many Autistic people would get angrier and being touched and having clothing removed by other people. Scarves, sweaters, or ties may be worsening the Autistic person’s distress. Ask first, since the movement may worsen sensory overload.

If you can, carry or escort them to a quiet place. If you cannot, encourage any people in the room to leave. Explain that unexpected noise and movement are hard for the Autistic person right now and that they can come back once the person has calmed down.

Carry on the Conversation

Have you hired a PT before?

Did you enjoy the experience?

Let me know in the comment section below

As always, I can also be found on Twitter: @AutisticNick9 and at my email

If you like what you have seen on the site today, then show your support by liking the Autistic Nick Facebook page.

Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.


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