If you haven't seen me post about it yet on social media, you're definitely going to want to have a listen. The episodes will range from 10 minutes to 45 minutes long - so there's not a big commitment you have to make with your time and attention.
The point of the show is to share information that you rarely see in mainstream media (blog posts, instagram captions, etc). I'll be talking about unconventional ways to motivate yourself, the issues faced by minority groups that are brushed over by your average gym or coach, and things that generally light my fire.
When I figure out how to make two people's audio sound good, I'll be doing interviews too. If you want to be on the show to talk accessibility in fitness with me, please get in touch!
My latest episode talks about the unique challenges that individuals with ADHD and autism may face when it comes to motivating themselves to exercise or cook nourishing foods.
These challenges can be influenced by various factors related to neurodivergent traits. Here are some reasons why they may find it difficult:
For Individuals with ADHD:
1. Executive Function Challenges:
- ADHD is often associated with difficulties in executive functions, such as planning, organizing, and initiating tasks. Planning and following through with exercise or meal preparation may be particularly challenging.
2. Time Management Issues:
- Individuals with ADHD may struggle with estimating time accurately and managing their time effectively. This can make it difficult to allocate time for regular exercise or cooking.
- Impulsivity is a common trait in ADHD. This can lead to impulsive decision-making, making it challenging to stick to long-term plans for healthy habits.
4. Difficulty Sustaining Attention:
- Sustaining attention on a task or routine, such as a workout or cooking, may be challenging for individuals with ADHD. Boredom or distractions can quickly derail their efforts.
5. Hyperactivity and Restlessness:
- Some individuals with ADHD experience hyperactivity and restlessness. This can make it difficult to engage in activities that require focus and concentration, such as cooking or following a workout routine.
6. Sensory Sensitivities:
- Sensory sensitivities, common in ADHD, may impact food preferences and make it challenging to explore and enjoy a variety of healthy foods.
For Individuals with Autism:
1. Routine and Change Challenges:
- Individuals with autism often thrive on routine, and deviations from familiar routines can be distressing. Introducing new exercise routines or cooking habits may be met with resistance.
2. Sensory Sensitivities:
- Sensory sensitivities can play a significant role. Some individuals with autism may be sensitive to certain textures, tastes, or smells, making it challenging to enjoy a variety of healthy foods.
3. Difficulty with Transitions:
- Difficulty transitioning from one activity to another can be a barrier to starting or changing habits. Moving from a sedentary activity to exercise or from a preferred activity to cooking can be challenging.
4. Social Challenges:
- Group exercise classes or communal cooking activities may be challenging for individuals with autism due to social difficulties. This can limit options for engaging in physical activity or learning to cook.
5. Special Interests Focus:
- Individuals with autism often have special interests that they may intensely focus on. If these interests do not naturally align with exercise or healthy cooking, it may be challenging to motivate them in these areas.
6. Difficulty Expressing Needs:
- Some individuals with autism may struggle to communicate their needs and preferences. This can make it challenging for them to express their desire to engage in specific activities or make particular dietary choices.
Common Factors for Both ADHD and Autism:
1. Executive Function Challenges:
- Both ADHD and autism can involve difficulties with executive functions, impacting the ability to plan, initiate, and follow through on tasks related to exercise and cooking.
2. Hyperfocus and Narrow Interests:
- While hyperfocus can be a strength, it may lead to an intense focus on a single interest or activity, potentially limiting the individual's willingness to explore new exercise or cooking routines.
3. Mental Health Impact:
- Both ADHD and autism are associated with higher rates of mental health challenges. Conditions like depression or anxiety can contribute to a lack of motivation for self-care activities.
4. Low Frustration Tolerance:
- Individuals with ADHD and autism may experience low frustration tolerance, making it challenging to persist in activities that are perceived as difficult or uncomfortable.
In the podcast episode, I talk about ways to use these traits to your advantage!
Addressing these challenges often involves considering individual strengths, preferences, and support needs. Tailoring strategies to accommodate neurodivergent traits can enhance motivation and make adopting healthy habits more achievable. This may include using visual schedules, incorporating special interests, creating structured routines, and providing sensory-friendly environments.
Let me know what you think about the first 3 episodes.
You can find the podcast here.