It's generally accepted that frequent physical activity, particularly a planned exercise can enhance the strength of your muscle and boost your endurance.
Regular exercise make it possible to accelerate the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.
So in the event that your heart and lung health is strength, you will have more energy to tackle daily chores.
It is also important to know the right type of exercise and how to go about for a desired result.
More importantly when it comes to kids living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, research has shown that vigorous exercise for more than 20 minutes has a tendency to decrease stereotypical behaviors, hyperactivity, and aggression.
It has been established that regular exercise does not only help autistic children better engage in the environment, but it also helps balancing their weight and leads to better overall health for such children.
All round -body exercises are suitable for kids living with autism to build coordination, strength, endurance, and body awareness. The following are five recommended exercises for your kids to undertake.
How to conduct your autistic child through effective exercise.
First you should create an enabling environment to ensure a calm, supportive and conducive place to enhance accelerated assimilation of new exercise for your kids.
You should always encourage your child with inspirational words to enable them to work harder. Inspirational Words such as “You’re on the right track .Keep on with it"
1. Bear crawls.
This exercise, Bear crawls is done to improve body awareness, enhance coordination and motor planning, and build strength in the trunk and upper body.
You will lead your child to kneel on all fours, with hands under their shoulders and knees under hips.
Let them stretch their legs until they are slightly bent. They should be encouraged to open their fingers wide to have optimal contact with the floor.
Lead them to walk with their feet and hands across the floor approximately 10-20 feet.
They should stay in this position and walk backward in the same manner.
Encourage them to switch up the speed and direction for suitable results.
2. Medicine ball slams.
Throwing weighted objects like medicine balls can increase core strength and balance and help improve coordination. It may also have therapeutic benefits and can stimulate brain centers responsible for short-term memory.
3 . Star jumps
For optimal results let your autism child Jump for a number of times. This task helps to strengthen cardiovascular endurance, strengthen legs and the core, and increase body awareness.
Star jumps are normally undertaken at any place and can be performed one
at a time or in multiple repetitions.
Guide your child to squat in a position with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms tucked in toward the chest.
They should jump in a quick manner by squatting, extending their arms and legs wide into an X shape.
When they land, they should return to starting position with arms and legs tucked in.
This task should be repeated for up to 20 times or until they are tired.
4. Arm circles.
According to a study published on Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, the authors found that movements similar to those exhibited by those with autism may help provide needed feedback to the body.
This task is requisite for reducing repetitive behaviors such as arm flapping or clapping. Arm circles are a great upper-body exercise that helps increase flexibility and strength in the shoulders and back and can be done anywhere with no equipment.
Let your child to stand with their feet
shoulder-width apart, arms by their side.
Guide your child to open their arms by straightening out to the side at shoulder height.
Encourage them to make small circles with the hands, and keep the arms straight.
They should continue to make the circles bigger and bigger, and create the movement from the shoulders.
Guide the child to repeat 20 times, then repeat in the other direction.
5. Mirror exercises
Children living with Autism has difficulty in interacting with others or the environment. So by encouraging them to undertake Mirror exercises to ensure the child mimics what another person is doing, thereby increasing coordination, body awareness, and social skills.
Guide your child to stand to face a partner, and place their hands by their side.
Let them get their partners to make slow movements with their arms. They should then make circles and progressing to more complex patterns.
They should be encouraged to mimic their partner’s movement to appear as if they were looking at themselves in a mirror. For instance, if their partner raise their right arm, they should likewise raise their left arm.
Guide them to slightly touch their hands for added feedback.
They should continue this task for 1-2 minutes.
Encourage them to incorporate other body parts such as the head, trunk, and legs. Repeat 3-5 times.
It is important to consult a doctor before starting an exercise program with a child with autism.
It is always prudent to start slow and monitor for signs of fatigue such as shortness or breath, muscle cramps, or dizziness.
Watch out to know whether the child is well hydrated and rested before exercising.
It is suitable to start at a low intensity and slowly work out your way up to harder, more vigorous sessions.
Work out or exercise has many benefits for children with autism. A study from Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology states that 79 percent of children with autism have movement impairments, which can be worsened by an inactive lifestyle.
By now you should know that Physical activity may not only decrease negative behaviors but can increase mood, improve coping skills, and enhance overall quality of life.
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