April 29, 2012

Physical Activity: Cheapest and most effective therapy!

It is imperative to get the kids up and moving. Many kids on the spectrum do not get enough physical activity, or get outside enough. Both of these activities have such developmental effects on the nervous system, for both the body and mind. The body in motion has such organizing effects on the nervous system. It calms and organizes it ...on one level, and arouses and alerts at another level. It enhances Serotonin which organizes the chemistry in the nervous system, increasing sensory integration, body awareness, and motor planning skills. It increases coordination, balance and muscle strength, all which enhances body awareness and self esteem. Physical activity enhances “thinking”, decreases anxiety, stabilizes mood, and enhances sensory integration, all major issues for people on the spectrum. So, incorporate physical activity every day. Whatever that may be, get them up and moving. Whether it be walking, running, dancing, playing the Wii, sports, riding bikes, dancing, karate, jumping on trampoline, or climbing, develop a routine of being physically activity. It will enhance every area of their life.

Also, if you can incorporate the activity outside, that is even better. Just being outside, the fresh air and natural sensory stimulation (natural lighting, sights, smells, sounds) increases Serotonin, alerts the brain, and organizes the nervous system. For many people on the spectrum, all the artificial lights, sounds, and chemical smells of our indoor life is very irritating to the nervous system. Being outside allows their system to re-organize and re-energize. It helps the person rebound from the stressors of indoor living.

Most importantly, both of these activities are natural (with not harmful side effects) and free!!! Get them outdoors and get them active. You will find it therapeutic for both them and you!

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