Skip to main content

Paleo Play - Autism and MovNat

Very often, we in the autism community seem to focus mostly on food and therapy choices for our kids, but don't spend a lot of time on fitness and exercise unless it has something to do with formal physical therapy.  I, on the other hand, am convinced that a full-life approach to issues like this is the most appropriate way to address any issue, not just autism.  And exercise, particularly the type of exercise that kids should be getting (mainly play), is a key component of that.

Mark Sisson points out the importance of play in his ten rules of the Primal Blueprint, in rules 2,3,4,6,7, and 10.  Obviously he states it overtly in #6, simply "Play."  But those other rules all have to do with promoting HOW kids play and what they get out of it.  Move slowly frequently, lift heavy things occasionally, sprint sometimes, get some sunlight, and use your mind all come from play, especially for kids.  And it's a huge component of his new book, The Primal Connection.  

And what's more, I think it's important with all kids (not just the autistic ones) to expose them to a lot of different kind of stuff and ways to play.  I don't worry much about my kids getting exercise, because our family is so fitness-oriented, but I do worry sometimes about them getting pigeonholed - particularly in Duncan's case.  I think that the more autistic kids get to deal with new stuff, the more they'll be able to adapt to it (even if sensory triggers set them off with it on occasion).  Granted, I understand that this needs to be scaled for each child's sensory needs and abilities, but in our case it's easier than for some.  

I'm preaching to the choir here, but I truly believe that our bodies need to be treated as a system.  We have a dangerous tendency in our country to 1) attack symptoms and not root causes of issues; and 2) to look for a silver bullet to solve an entire problem at once.  Learning to move properly as MovNat espouses can only help to set up better neurological signaling from throughout the body, creating the bodily awareness that neurotypical kids take for granted but that many autistic kids are sorely lacking.  And getting healthy signalling from the body can only help create healthier processing in the brain itself.  

So when we received an invitation from MovNat Ohio to join them for a family training session as they assessed their program and how it might serve the autism community, we jumped at the chance!  I've been infatuated with MovNat since I first saw Erwan Le Corre's "The Workout the World Forgot" video, and one of my personal resolutions for the year was to take as much advantage of MovNat as I can (having the world's first MovNat-certified gym in your area sure makes that easier!).  


The session went beautifully.  I'll defer to MovNat-certified trainer Lori Crock and her recap of the session on their blog for a description and some pictures.  But I'm pleased to say that there's a gym in town that not only views things the same way as I do, but that is showing a wonderful open-mindedness about how their already-fine program can benefit a group of people that frequently get overlooked in the fitness community.  

I'm also going to point out another facet to this that Lori mentions:  MovNat can "teach" us how to play with our kids again.  Too often we defer to toys, and movies, and such when we look for quality time with our families.  And there's nothing wrong with that, as long as it's not the sole focus of how we interact with the ones we love!  Lots of articles are coming out of late about the importance of roughhousing with our kids, particularly at an early age.  But that's not just a benefit for the kids and their development - it's important for the parents as well!  

Think of the idea that the best way to learn something is to have to teach it to someone else.  If we're passing on our knowledge of the world (at all levels, not just intellectual levels) to our kids, at some point we're building our own understanding of it.  And that can do nothing but make us better people as well.  

I look forward to working with Lori and fellow trainer Jeff Turner more as we move forward in life and with our fitness goals - not just for ourselves, but for both our kids as well!  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Caffeine and Cortisol - a 30-Day Experiment

No Caffeine for Me! Today, I began upon a 30-day experiment to reduce my cortisol levels by removing coffee from my diet. The goal is to see how it might be affecting my cognitive function and my belly fat. Cortisol is a hormone that is related to stress .  At a very basic level, cortisol is created as a response to stressors in our environment.  Back when we were still chucking spears at deer and chasing down antelope, cortisol was helping to preserve our lives by giving us quick energy by signalling to our livers that it was time to engage in a process known as gluconeogenesis. This process is basically the breakdown of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, into glucose - one of the two monosaccharides (the healthy one) that our bodies use for fuel. Picture this - you're walking across the street, enjoying the day, when suddenly some inattentive driver tries to turn and doesn't see you.  Your heart rate speeds up, and you get a little burst of speed to quickly sprint o

More on Journaling: So many tools...

Journaling was long a habit that I wanted to pick up but just never did.  And it was never because I didn't believe in its worth, it was that I just never built the habit or found the proper method that worked best for me.  I'd start it for a while, be enthusiastic about it, and then lose the habit when something else came up and interrupted me.   That's all changed for me now, as I look forward each morning and night to journaling in my newest tool I've found.  But that search has clued me in to a ton of great journaling tools that might help you as you're looking for that great push to get you into the journaling habit!   The Five-Minute-Journal:    This is obviously   the one I've adopted .  It's simple, it's quick, and it does the trick.  I won't expand into stuff I've already talked about with this in the two posts I've done on this fantastic tool.  But let's talk about some of the other aspects of the Five-Minute Journal.

Ditching the Chair Update: Lack of Use Raises Its Head

I'm just starting day three of my standing desk experiment and so far I really like it - though a couple of challenges are showing up. As you may recall, I pulled one of my cubicle cupboards off the wall a couple days ago and am using it as a standing desk platform.  It's wide, deep enough, and more than sturdy enough for the limited use I put it through up there.  Also, I keep all that storage.  So win-win-win.  I'm fortunate that it's at exactly the right height for my purpose.   So here's how it's developed over the past couple of days.  My monitors are set apart about 16 inches and that's nice because it gets my neck moving back and forth more.  I was having some issues with my neck/back between my shoulder blades being tight and causing me headaches, and that has gone away.  I think that having my attention locked onto one place all day was not helping there, and setting them apart more has made me move it more.  Granted, I tend to lose my mou