Exercise isn’t something most people think about until they’re older or something compromises their health. They might gain weight or suffer from conditions ranging from diabetes to heart disease before they take heed to the significance of physical activity. Although regular exercise can help ease or even cure some of these problems, it’s best to use it as a preventative measure. Essentially, incorporating fitness into your every day routines is a practical way to prevent life-altering health issues.
Whether you prefer to hit the gym, dance, swim, play sports, or work out at home with an interactive gym wall mirror, indulging in regular physical activity can enhance your life in more ways than one.
Maintain Healthy Weight And Physique
Let’s start with the most commonly known reason to exercise – maintaining a healthy weight and physique. Physical activities help your body burn calories from your diet. It also helps to burn fat and build muscle for a tight and tone form. Developing an exercise routine that includes cardio and strength training will keep the excess pounds at bay.
Keeps The Heart Healthy
Your heart is one of the most vital and hardworking organs in the body. When it begins to fail, it reduces your quality of life and puts you at risk for everything from heart disease to a stroke. Exercise works to prevent this by increasing your good cholesterol levels and eliminating triglycerides, improving blood flow, strengthening the heart, and reducing your risk of severe heart conditions.
Boosts Your Mood
Your emotional health is also tied to regular exercise. The brain produces a hormone known as cortisol when you’re under a lot of stress. Too much cortisol can lead to mental health problems. Physical activity helps regulate your hormones by reducing cortisol levels and increasing endorphins and dopamine (feel-good hormones). Not to mention, when you’re in shape and otherwise healthy, you tend to feel a bit more confident about yourself.
Increases Energy Levels
You may be wondering how exercising (something exhausting) would somehow make you feel more energized, but the answer is simple. Working out increases oxygen levels in the body, enabling you to breathe better and enhancing heart function. Ultimately, a stronger heart and lungs make it easier for you to get through the day without feeling drained.
Whether you know it or not, your body is exposed to toxins every day, from the air you breathe to the foods you eat. When those toxins build up in the body, it can lead to serious medical problems. Getting active can reduce the chances of this happening to you. When you work out, your body begins to sweat, eliminating toxins. Just be sure to take a shower when you’re done to avoid clogging your pores.
Improved Muscle And Bone Health
Your muscles, bones, and joints are essential to get around. Unfortunately, as you age, the density, mass, and condition of these body parts weaken, leaving you vulnerable to conditions ranging from arthritis to fractures. On the other hand, weak muscles make it more challenging to walk, lift, and complete daily functions. Taking a walk or jog a few times a week makes a big difference. It strengthens muscles and bones, enabling you to be on the go without any problems.
Who wouldn’t want to add an extra five, ten, or even twenty years to their life? Well, when you exercise regularly, you are doing just that. As you can see from above, including fitness in your routine reduces the risk of several medical problems. Essentially, your mind and body go through less stress and function more efficiently. Not to mention, if you’re not at risk of heart disease, chronic stress, or cancer (some of the most common killers), you can live longer.
Although exercise is ideal for soothing symptoms of certain health conditions, that’s not all it’s suitable for. Instead of using exercise as a reactionary measure, use it as a means to prevent affecting your physical and emotional well-being. Start exercising at least five times a week for 30 minutes to an hour to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.
How to Help Your Child if You Think They Might Have Autism
Do you suspect your child might have autism, but you’re not sure? While only a professional diagnosis can tell you for sure, there are many ways you can support your child while you get a diagnosis and create a plan.
Here are some of the best ways to support a child you think might have autism.
- Try a variety of therapies
While you’re in the process of getting a formal diagnosis, start trying different therapies with your child to see if anything resonates with your child. Every child with autism is different, so what works for one person may not work for another. There are several types of therapy you can try that are low-cost or free, including play therapy, speech therapy, floortime, ABA therapy, and more.
Although your child will need a formal Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis to get ABA therapy, it’s worth noting that once you have a diagnosis, you can get in-home therapy, which will make things easier on you and your child. Organizations like Golden Care Therapy in New Jersey will send an ABA therapist to your home to work with your child in their own environment. Getting in-home therapy will reduce the stress your child may feel from being in a new and unfamiliar place.
The more therapies you try, the better chance you have of getting a head start in supporting your child, whether or not they get diagnosed with autism.
- Get your child some sensory toys
Kids with autism need to stim, which is just a fancy way of saying they need something to stimulate their senses in a way that allows them to mitigate and disburse the sensory overload they’re feeling. Without toys, kids will find ways to stim using just their bodies and their surroundings, but toys can be extremely helpful and less damaging depending on your child.
Every child is different, so it might take a bit to find toys they like. However, you can find some excellent suggestions from The Aspie World on YouTube. Some toys spin, squish, make noise, or are a series of magnets that can be reshaped. If your child is already fixated on certain types of toys, try to find something that matches their existing interest. For example, if they like soft textures, find some plush toys with a velvety-smooth texture. Try all types of toys to see if they help your child.
- Seek a professional diagnosis
Getting a professional diagnosis is the best way you can support your child when you think they might have autism. Once you have a diagnosis, that opens the door to getting services that will help them immensely. Not just while they’re young, but it will help them in their adult life, too. For example, if your child moves out on their own, and they struggle with self-care and household chores, they’ll need a professional diagnosis to get in-home services from the state.
A professional diagnosis will tell you if your child is on the autism spectrum, or if they have a different disorder. Depending on the therapist you choose, they’ll likely be able to diagnose your child with any relevant comorbidities, which are common with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
- Learn about autism
Next to getting your child professionally diagnosed, learning about autism will help you support your child in many ways. There are many misconceptions about autism that can make it hard to spot the signs of autism. One of the best people to learn from is Tony Attwood. He’s considered the leading expert on Autism Spectrum Disorder and is extremely knowledgeable.
One of the most important things you can learn from Attwood is how to spot Autism in girls. For various reasons, it’s harder to spot autism in girls and some girls don’t get diagnosed until they’re in their 40s. Attwood gave an excellent talk about Asperger’s in girls back in 2015, and you’ll learn a lot from this speech.
Although Attwood’s speech focuses on Asperger’s, it is part of the autism spectrum. As a diagnosis, Asperger’s has been officially merged into the diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
Support your child in every way you can
When you suspect your child might have autism, it’s important to support them in every way possible. While you’re seeking a professional diagnosis, start trying simple solutions, like play therapy and toys for stimming. See how they respond. Once you get a diagnosis, your child’s therapist will suggest next steps to help your child long-term.
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