Covid: Gym lifeline for fitness fan with autism

Covid: Gym lifeline for fitness fan with autism

For many, it has been a long wait to get back to the gym but for Andrew Edwards, it has been a mental health priority.

The 36-year-old has autism and depends on the routine of working out to help his wellbeing, both body and mind.

Locked out of his gym by lockdown, he found it difficult to adjust at his home in Wrexham.

Now he has returned, he said it has been “lovely” to restart training.

“The gym means the world to me,” said Andrew, who lost his mother and carer Hazel Davies in December, after she contracted Covid-19 and pneumonia.

“My Ma used to come here with me and my sister. She loved it here.”

His sister Mel Beckley, who has taken over the caring role for her brother, said she had to “think quickly” to find a solution when the doors closed at the gyms under the Covid lockdowns in Wales.

She created a mini-gym in her garage, a stop-gap to help both of them cope with lockdown – and their grief.

“It’s been great but not the same as coming to the gym every day,” she said.

“With the autism, routine and structure, it’s a really big part for Andrew.”

But both of them are now back training three times a week at their gym in Queensferry, under the watchful eye of personal trainer Chris Hibbert, who has kept in touch with Andrew throughout the pandemic.

“His life is all about routine, what time he gets up, breakfast, everything is structured,” said the trainer.

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