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The Importance of Fitness for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Monday, March 4th, 2013 | Permalink

Physical activity was easy when they were young …

… But physical activity is not just for children. Health guidelines recommend 60 minutes per day of physical activity for teens. Recent figures show that 80% of teens don’t meet those recommendations. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with unfavorable metabolic profiles. Teen television viewing has increased by 2.5% per year totaling 4 hours each day. TV watching has also been associated with poor eating habits. Unfortunately, turning off the television may not be enough to impact healthy lifestyle behaviors, especially for a teen with Autism (ASD). Unusual diets, psychotropic medications, and motor planning difficulties may add additional risk factors for weight gain and inactivity. Post secondary teens may not have the routine activity programs that middle/high school provided. Fitness is not just about weight management. Fitness for a teen with ASD can help reduce the risk of developing adult diseases later in life.  A lifestyle that includes physical activity can prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Fitness for a teen with ASD may not be as easy as a drop-off at a local health club or fitness center. Fitness for a teen with ASD may be challenging because of apraxia, poor sensory regulation, or diminished self-management skills. These, plus low motivation, limited initiation skills, decreased attention, and on task behaviors can impact opportunities for a teen with ASD. Physical activity can be fun and simple, especially when creative parents get involved. Park at the top of a hill and walk down to have a picnic, see a favorite view, or to chase the ball that accidently fell out of the car and rolled in the direction of the hill. When it’s time to leave, a brisk walk up the hill will alert, regulate, and provide aerobic exercise opportunity.

Fitness for a teen with ASD is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Let’s provide opportunities that include physical activity. Park the car and walk. After all, physical activity has been shown to improve bone health, lower the risk for breast and colon cancer, and reduce stress. It’s time to model some positive lifestyle behaviors and to protect yourself and your teen or young adult with ASD from disease and disability. Have fun and stay healthy!

by Sheila Orta, MS, OTR/L, Doctorate Candidate in Health Psychology

Contact:, 805-827-8278

Ask yourself: What are my goals?

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 | Permalink

“Breaking Thru Barriers … with Fitness”
iFlextrain Coach David believes in fitness as a lifestyle …

Ask yourself: What are my goals?

  • To lose weight?
  • Tone and tighten?
  • Build more muscle?
  • Have more energy?
  • Feel more confident?
  • Have an upcoming occasion?

The best way to start an exercise program is by answering these other questions, too:
What do I currently like to do?

  • Walk?
  • Bike ride?
  • Swim?
  • Not sure?

Fitness training/healthy lifestyle means different things to different people … what does it mean to you?

Next look at activities that are natural in movement … ditch the selectorized weight machines, treadmill, steppers, exercise bikes (these last 3 have their usefulness on occasion). Look for fitness activities that uses your body weight, jumping rope (can’t jump rope? Our rope-less jump rope will help.), fitness games, walking/running, running cones, using medicine ball slams and throws, agility type exercises …

An excellent activity often overlooked but is a great way to relieve stress, build strength and endurance, lose weight, and just feel great is hitting a heavy punching bag!

The concept of, “ugh I gotta go to the gym” will change to, “it’s time to work out, what should I do today?”

Start out with 20- to 30-minute sessions, don’t overtrain or do too much the first sessions. Too many people start a fitness routine and go overboard and become so sore that they never go back to it (I wouldn’t either). In the beginning, “less is more.”

Here is what you can expect, what I call “the phases to fitness:”

  1. You’ll mentally feel better, accomplished.
  2. You’ll start noticing more energy (funny thing is that the more you sit around the more tired you become, it’s true).
  3. You’ll feel better about yourself, more confident.
  4. You’ll walk into a room with what I call, “a bounce in your step.” You might even change your hairstyle or buy new clothes!
  5. Then … ta-da!! You will look in the mirror and start seeing the change! Now that’s motivating!

It’s all about what works for you! But … you need to start … thats the hardest part … another of my sayings, “Just do it Now!

For more info: or contact Coach David at 805-827-8278 or 

Fitness and The Brain

Monday, February 11th, 2013 | Permalink

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

― John F. Kennedy

Holiday’s are upon us!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 | Permalink


“do it now”

Well it’s that time of year, “The Holidays” the season of “joy” (I hope for all of us) families get together,friends meet up, some extra indulgence such as sweets, to many fattening foods, pop(cola’s) , a few drinks (for us over 21 of course) then… oops… I think, I put on some extra weight…yikes!!

So what do you do? hmm…  Well Coach David say’s ” I always recommend starting (or continuing) your fitness routine thru these busy times”

He suggest’s “make sure you work out before your party or after (both would be ideal) go to the gym (I know a good one, lol), take a brisk walk, or run… exercise at home.” You will feel better, have more energy, have more confidence,  I’m sure your holiday outfit will look great on you too!!

So lets get a jump start on the New Year! “do it now”…


Peace ‘n Health

Coach D.

Fitness can be achieved by any body!

Friday, November 2nd, 2012 | Permalink

We all have our stress in our life, whether we are overweight, out of work, injured or alot of responibilities  2 things can help you thru troubling or stressful times first is having a loving family that cares for you and spends time talking and laughing with you 2nd is fitness, being healthy, eating good, exercising even just walking or moving your arms and legs around in a chair… this article shows how a man  has taken fitness well into his 90′s  The point of this is to find a reason to workout (as this 93 year old has found his, haha) Maybe you just want to lose weight, get stronger, build muscle, or impress your significant other?  We can all take something from this man… if he can do it, we can find a way to do it!


To your health!


Coach David.


Fitness for Autism

Sunday, September 9th, 2012 | Permalink

Good Morning it’s another beautiful day!