Did you know that children ages 6 to 13 years need a recommended 9-11 hours of sleep? Did you know that children ages 6 to 17 years need a recommended 60 minutes of exercise every day? Lastly, did you know that research shows a correlation between individuals with autism, exercise, and sleep? David Wachob and David Lorenzi from Indiana University recently conducted a study in which 10 individuals with ASD between the ages of 9-17 years were measured for two things: time spent participating in physical activity and amount of time in restful sleep. Their 7 day study resulted in their participants having more restful sleep as they increased their physical activity during the day. In other words, an increase in exercise like outdoor play meant an increase in sleep. This, in turn, could potentially lead to more positive results like increased attention span, weight loss, behavior changes, and social interactions.
But how do we get our kiddos to move? How do we get them away from the TV and computer? In this blog I will discuss 3 easy steps that will hopefully help get your family moving.
1. Our first step, and probably the most important, is to set the mood in regards to exercise.
Most kids see exercise as a chore when in reality it should be fun. Find something that your child can relate to. This can be stickers, coloring books, games, or tv time (tv time as an incentive) of their favorite show or characters, for example “Big Hero 6”.
Decorate your workout area in pictures or printouts of their favorite character and make it more inviting. You can even use a “Big Hero 6” t-shirt as their official workout uniform. This will hopefully shed some positive/fun perspective on exercise.
2. Our second step is finding an activity to do.
Alfred Chavira, Any Baby Can’s Health and Wellness Director holds a Bachelors in Biology and a Masters in Kinesiology. He has 10 years of experience in the field of health and wellness and 6 years of experience in adaptive fitness. Alfred also teaches a CEU Class titled “Teaching Strategies for Adapted Fitness”. He has presented strategies for adapted fitness at multiple conferences including: 2105 SHAPE America Southern District Conference, 2014 California Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 2104 5-P Society Annual Conference, 2014 Autism Society of Greater Austin and more. AS101 is pleased to offer our viewers/readers the insights of Alfred Chavira!