Thoughts about ASD specific fitness classes for adults.

Hello everyone,

I hope this question is acceptable.

I would like to ask for your thoughts and opinions about an idea I've had that could hopefully help the adult community.

Firstly I would like to quickly introduce myself.

Im Ritchie, and I'm 37 from sunderlan. I'm a fitness and personal trainer in a local studio gym.

I found out I was on the spectrum in the later part of my adult life. Like many it was unexpectedly discovered and experienced the difficulty of accepting the condition. After diagnosis I discovered how little there is out there for adults in the local area.

I've been back and forth with an idea I've had and want to try and decide if it would have enough interest.

I'm wanting set up a small group fitness class only avaliable to adults living with ASD. It would be completely private and designed to help with many of the common conditions attributed to autism (balance and coordination, motor skills etc) while promoting and increasing physical health. It could also help to improve a person's difficulties around social interactions.

After spending alot of time searching around to see if anything like this is avaliable already I haven't found much info on it.

Would having an activity like this avaliable to you in your local area, is it something that would interest people and choose to do.

It would be a small group adult class in a private studio and exercises that are easy ti follow, can suit any fitness level and designed around improving the main physical attributes connected to autism.

I'm hoping that people will be able to feel reassured knowing it is ran by a coach who is also diagnosed with ASD and has personal experience of the difficulties faced while living with the condition

It would help so much and I would be so grateful for any and all relies of feedback, feelings and thoughts around this idea so I can find out if it could be something people would be interested in doing.

Thank you so much 

  • What a marvellous idea. I would sign up for classes in a heartbeat! There is no provision for autistic people around here.

  • Hi - Sounds like a great idea - one teensy problem - autistic people may not be earning so they might not be able to pay.      Would you be providing this service for free or could you get a grant from your local authorities?

  • I think this is a great idea as health outcomes for Autistic people tend to be poor. I am amazed with my dyspraxia that I can ride a bike and do so with my local club. However there is nothing in the cycling community to support riders on the spectrum. I think any way of improving acess to sport and fitness is a good idea and should be encouraged by any local authority. I wish you well with this.

  • This is a very good idea. Probably one of the best things my dad did was to get me into football and exercising. Now I'm almost obsessed with exercise. I sort of hold myself back from doing too much. It's not a bad obsession to have! I would certainly travel 10 miles or so to take part in a session. You could do a sort of boot camp type where there are different levels of fitness, so you'd have increasing difficulties of exercises for better levels of fitness. From the boot camp sessions I've seen there are three levels of fitness. 

  • Thanks for your thoughts and feedback.

    I'm just at the beginning stage of the idea. I know that there are multiple factors to include and decide before finalising everything.

    I'm awaiting responses from local charities in my area around heath and safety, insurances and buisiness needs that would need to be put in place. I know the scale of the spectrum is vast and complex and I will need to make a decision before going ahead fully to make she it is accessible and safe for someone to attend based on severity of condition. Price wise I would first look for funding avaliable but if unavailable I'd try and keep price as low as possible.

    Base format is a group circuit training session that a person can follow at any fitness level. I also have strategies included that would help with other factors involved e.g. giving following sessions routine out in advance to ease anxiety of unknown. Other main thing which I would offer to clients would be that anyone needing support from a carer can bring them along and join in at no extra cost.

    It has helped hearing from you and hopefully get reply soon with information about what needs to be inplace for this idea of mine to get up and running

  • Sounds fantastic! 

  • I love this idea, I wish there was something like this around me. I find going to the gym a nightmare and anything that would make that easier for people would be wonderful.

    I can't drive so I cant get to any of the big gyms that I would feel less social pressure in and when I went to the local studio gym down the road from me to get info and it looks like a hellscape to me, everyone mingling, chatting to each other, helping each other out I just couldn't do it. But if I knew there was an ASD session I could go to I'd do it in a flash.

  • Cool - you might want to think about the environment - gyms are normally very bright and noisy - some with loud music - really overstimulating - would you have control over those factors?