Archive for the ‘fitness’ Category

Aspergers guide to the gym

Posted: November 19, 2012 in fitness, life, sports
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Hi, this article is based on my own personal experience and not professional research. Having said that here is my tips for the gym.

It is often great to have a friend at the gym to provide encouragement and to keep ¬†you going. It is hard to keep oneself on track and a person will come up with any excuse for missing the gym. If they have another person that they are accountable to, they can still make up excuses but it is slightly harder. It is very hard to make friends at the gym on the treadmill over so don’t count on conversations with strangers. The most you will ever get out of conversation is “Are you done with that machine?” which the polite response is yes, if you are done with it. Or “Are you using that machine?” You may get slightly more conversation out of the gym staff if you ask for help using the machine or if you are asking about programs they are offering. However, you have to be pretty lonely if you are going to seek this approach for conversation. Which is just fine for most people with Aspergers so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

If you cannot get someone to go with you, many people find it beneficial to have an ipod or some device to listen to music through to make the time move faster. If you are lucky there will some hard-bodied males or females to look at and drool over which will make the time move faster. There will also be overweight people to make you realize you are not the only one who has it hard. If you are overweight, that is alright too. It is important to eat well and exercise no matter what your body size.

Muscle strengthening will probably take longer than other people so don’t add too much weight when you go. The reason why muscle training takes longer is because the part of how are muscles are wired which makes motor control an extra challenge for us. If you add too much weight too quickly you are likely to hurt yourself. Besides, what’s the point if you have Aspergers you will never be a star athlete anyway, so take it easy on your body. The most you can hope for is to stay in good shape.

Figure out what your exercise goals are and train for them. Having Aspergers, we are different and our muscle control works differently. What this means is that muscles and endurance from one type of exercise will not transfer as well to other forms of exercise as it does for other people. If you want to be a cyclist, work on the bike. Work on the elliptical trainer will not benefit us as much in a cross-training way as it will for other people. For example, I want to run in the half-marathon so I will jog, working on the bike would not help me reach my goals.

For people who don’t have Aspergers but find my advice useful that is because I believe that we are all on a spectrum of sorts from the highest functioning athletes to people who are unable to look after themselves because of their autism.