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Featured physical exercise?????

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Ihaveaspergers, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. Ihaveaspergers

    Ihaveaspergers Active Member

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    Has physical exercise helped you deal with cognitive rigidity?
    Some people say that physical exercise will help people relax. I think we can still get stuck because of cognitive rigidity. I think some of us need to be more physical and really express our frustration (which can come from this rigidity) but it is not the same as doing physical exercise in my opinion. I don't think expressing frustration and doing physical exercise is the same, do you? Perhaps doing some kind of theatre exericises can help. I've just started to work with a professional singing teacher who is also a speech therapist. We talk about expressing emotions with the body (which includes the voice). I hope it will be helpful.
    What has worked for you?
     
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  2. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The single best healthy remedy I've found for reducing stress, anxiety and also "cognitive rigidity" is regular moderately vigorous exercise. Usually it's in the form of a very brisk one hour daily walk. In addition to that my exercise can come from working outside (hauling rocks, cutting, splitting and stacking wood, gardening).

    I've noticed that when I don't exercise for periods of time my stress level goes up as does my "catastrophizing" (negative thinking).

    The benefits of regular exercise for those that are physically capable of doing it can't be understated.
     
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  3. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    Physical exercise was essential for weight management and maintaining health. However, it did not notice that it decreased cognitive rigidity or anxiety for me. What it did do was create a new obsession complete with a new routine involving repetitive weighing, diet, and exercise.
     
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  4. Giraffes

    Giraffes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It definitely helps me reduce anxiety and depression, i haven't exercised for a few weeks due to trying to adjust to a new job and my overthinking has increased as has my anxiety, time to build exercise back into my life.
     
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  5. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    Exercise helps me with anxiety and mood regulation, but it doesn’t make me less rigid. And I really dislike exercising so it takes a lot of discipline to get moving.
     
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  6. Ihaveaspergers

    Ihaveaspergers Active Member

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    how did it help you deal with cognitive rigidity? The only thing that helps me is in a very physical way showing my frustration (either alone or with somebody).
    Perhaps a brisk walk is very good for your physical health but I cannot see how it will help you when you are frustrated.


    reducing depression is extremely interesting. I talked with a professional who said that me being a person who have had meltdowns could have save me from depression. But it sure sucks experiencing them.
    Perhaps physical exercise doesn't take away that thing causing meltdowns but it is probably very good for reducing anxiety and depression.


    What kind of anxiety do you refer to? My cognitive rigidity and perseveration made me have extreme meltdowns. Many aspies have an additional anxiety issue outside the ASD diagnosis. I don't!
     
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  7. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It absolutely helps in dealing with frustration. From what I recall from back in the days when I would distance run for exercise, after 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise the brain releases a healthy dose of endorphins. Runners call this a "runner's high". It's real. It lingers for hours after the exercise. Not only is the body more relaxed, but the mind is more relaxed due to the endorphins. This allows a person to deal more effectively with frustration and stress. If you consider a hormone like adrenaline to be a stress hormone, endorphins are anti-stress hormones.

    Regarding rigid thinking: I find that the more stressed I am, the more rigid my thinking is. I see this as a defense mechanism. Under stress, the last thing I need is to walk into unfamiliar territory figuratively or literally. Exercise reduces stress which allows me more latitude to contemplate a wider array of options or perspectives.
     
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  8. Ihaveaspergers

    Ihaveaspergers Active Member

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    You're saying that running reduces meltdowns? You can run away the meltdowns?
     
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  9. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Reduce, yes. Eliminate, no.
     
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  10. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    I have generalized anxiety and panic disorder which is mostly under control these days, but it’s been really bad. Working out helps me break my negative thought patterns and just helps me get out of my head overall. The exercise has to be pretty strenuous to achieve this though.
    I also have social anxiety, but exercise doesn’t help with that (unless it’s running away from people, hehehe)
     
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  11. Ihaveaspergers

    Ihaveaspergers Active Member

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    I have only one diagnosis
     
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  12. Ihaveaspergers

    Ihaveaspergers Active Member

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    Many people say that "meltdowns are emotional outbursts that happen when children (or adults) are overwhelmed by feelings and they come out in inappropriate ways."
    How would physical exercise make one better at expressing emotions?
     
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  13. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    Oh, I have a plethora. Aspergers, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks and some fun specific phobias ;)
     
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  14. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've never heard of the term cognitive rigidity before but...

    I don't go to a gym, maybe I should... :rolleyes:

    I do go for daily walks, have never clocked how far I walk per day but some days it's lots, but just getting into fresh air helps me! For me it's also for photography, for many it's also for a dog walk, but I think that getting out every day (as people are able to) is a good thing for the soul... Even if it's just yourself and a walk around the block, or to a nearby park, etc...
     
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  15. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    When l run, it's me and the machine. Not people. It's me and my body. What l do is my business not anybody else's. l have an extreme amount of busybodies in my life so l run to deal with that. Nobody will respect my right to live my life alone.
     
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  16. Moonhart44

    Moonhart44 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I dont feel that exercises helps me with my frustration. i think if anything my diet and how much i sleep effects me more, in terms of agitation
     
  17. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Exercise helps most people with mental health as well as physical health. "Most people" also means "not all people." "Helps" means it is not necessarily a cure and the degree to which it help can vary from a little to a lot.

    There is always an exception. Michael Phelps used swimming as a method of avoiding his depression while he broke world records. I still suspect he'd have been in worse mental shape if he were a couch potato.

    Cardiovascular exercise helps to better oxygenate the brain. The number of famous intellectuals for whom a long walk is their best problem-solving time is long. There's also the matter of the body cranking out endorphins during exercise. If you really push it hard and long enough there's also runner's high.

    Consistent exercise over time enhances your circulatory fitness and - unless you increase your food intake substantially - will cause you to reduce your percentage of body fat. Exercise helps your body utilize insulin better and even if insulin is lacking, contracting muscles can still burn glucose. If your blood sugar is off, nothing is right. (My own experience is that several hours of demanding walking also cuts my appetite.) I figure anything that keeps my blood pressure low, my blood sugar steady, and my breathing easy has to be good. Good physical health is better for your state of mind than poor physical health.

    A lot of people get competitive about their exercise. There's a huge amount of satisfaction to be had from getting as far as you did, especially if you got a little farther than last time.

    My exercise of choice is hiking. Personally, I never push myself to the limit because if I do I don't enjoy the trip. (I am noncompetitive.) I stop along the way to take photos, admire the scenery, have a picnic, and take a nap. I like to encounter wildlife along the way, so I try to move quietly. I check out the tiny things in addition to the grand things. There is something very healing about realizing how tiny and irrelevant one is compared to the wild. A bit of humility. How nature is neither a friend nor a foe but rather completely indifferent to me.

    I love being solo. All alone, miles from anywhere, I can lose those clothes. (My own bit of eccentricity.) I am truly on my own and it is my own efforts that keep me safe. That's quite satisfying all by itself. Other's prefer random encounters with other hikers. To each, their own.
     
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  18. AspieOtaku

    AspieOtaku Leader of the otaku legion!

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    Pokemon Go and Jurassic World Alive, enough said.
     
  19. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would call cognitive rigidity the inability to change one's thoughts on something or to let go of
    anger and other emotional thoughts and feelings.
    In that instance, excercise does not help me either.
    People say I never get over something. My answer is "I know."

    Getting outdoors to do gardening, walking, and I used to go for a bike ride, helped the secondary
    diagnosis' of anxiety disorder and depression.
    Physical disability has severely lessened my ability to walk. I miss that a lot.

    Mentally challenging study and reading interesting articles help my negative thinking.
    Meditation is a great escape, but temporary.
    Puzzles and games are good for those who are not able to do more active exercises.
     
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  20. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    No, not really, but I can see how it might help if the cognitive rigidity is linked to anxiety or stress levels, because exercise does help with that. It really depends on what the source of the rigidity is - if it comes from an inherent need for order, then it probably won't. If it comes from stresses due to one's environment, then it might help, as excercise, apart from releasing dopamines to give you a high, takes you away from that environment and can distract you from your problems.