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National Fitness Day - Young Adult Fitness Project

Today is National Fitness Day so what better day to tell you what our Young Adults have been up to lately, with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland and in partnership with local Community Interest Company, Scotland All-Strong.


Young people aged 14 – 18 who are registered with Perth Autism Support have the chance to book in for a block of fitness classes which run twice per week. Our evening class is open to all and our afternoon class has the focus of engaging young people who are not currently in education or employment and who may have other significant barriers to them attending. The classes allow structure and skills development of fitness in a small group environment fully supported by our young adult team and led with the knowledge and experience of the brilliant Andy at Scotland All-Strong.


Recognising the importance of both physical health and the link to increased physical activity to the mental wellbeing, these classes are designed to develop confidence and enjoyment of a gym environment in a way that is suitable to our young people, with the outcome being that they are able to access fitness and physical exercise regularly, building this in to their weekly routine. This can then be continued through their whole lives in to adulthood. Sometimes knowing gym etiquette, large busy environments, going when there is no one that you know there, knowing how to use equipment, and what to do if your plan changes with equipment being busy can all be huge barriers in our young people accessing fitness classes and the gym.


Greater physical health and an impact on improved mental health – we love this new project!


What do we do at this class and what makes it different to others you may ask?


The class has a variety of different options to take part in and everyone finds something they are comfortable with. We start off by warming up together as a group. When I say group, we have no more than 5 young people in the group at the one time, so there are no large classes to navigate, no noisy gyms to contend with and no worrying what to do if the machine you want to use is currently busy. Then we start moving round the different equipment and activities, where we can be boxing and letting out some steam on a punching bag or lifting weights to increase strength. The different exercises are aimed to increase confidence in using different pieces of equipment as well as it relieving any tensions that have built up throughout the day.

After the exercise there is then a session of stretching and guided relaxation and mindfulness which helps you to relax and unwind. Though watch out as you may end of falling asleep – the staff have a particular challenge with this!!


Young people who have participated in it so far have said:


‘I really enjoy the class, I feel more confident and I like the relaxing bit’

‘I feel it is a good to be in a class where I don’t feel pressured and can go at my speed’

‘I feel I’m getting stronger’

Staff members also notice the difference in the young people attending in how the increase their confidence and how as the weeks progress they are able to focus better each week at the activities and then the mindfulness.


If you would like more information please contact our Young Adult Team at transitions@perthautismsupport.org.uk










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