Friday, December 10, 2010

Breaking a Sweat

Last night, I took my son to the gym for the first time. He’s only 10 years old (you have to be 12 years old), but because I teach fitness classes there, my boss allowed my son an early membership to the gym if we got a doctor’s note.

Exercise has always been a challenge for my son. Because my son has social anxieties, team sports have never been appealing. In the past, we tried different forms of exercise with his brothers like soccer at the park, bike rides or even running laps after school, all require good weather. In the summer, we swim a lot, but the pools close down for the winter. We also thought about martial arts, but both the therapist and I agreed that it wouldn’t be a good idea because he might use his trained moves against me during a rage. So that left our colder months with a challenge.

So I have to say, we were both pretty excited about this opportunity. We packed up our ipods and water bottles and headed to the cardio equipment. I taught him how to do the elliptical machine and he did a 30 minute workout. I was so proud of him. I know it isn’t easy for him to try new things, but he did so great. I wish I took a picture, mother and son, working out side-by-side, I’m sure it looked pretty cute.

Afterwards, we did a cool down and stretch while I taught him about endorphins and how they work in your brain. It was so cute to see his pink cheeks and sweaty hair. I could tell he really pushed himself.

Once home, he was starving and at bedtime he was out like a light. This morning he said he had the best sleep ever last night.

I don’t know if he’ll embrace this, but I hope that he can hold on to the glow of happiness he felt after the workout to encourage him to do it again. I know personally how exercise has improved my own life, how it helps me battle the stresses I face everyday. I hope that he too can find this same joy in exercise.

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  1. Thank you for this post. I know the benefits of exercise and definantly see those benefits when my kids get enough, yet I still don't give them enough opportunities to get exercise.

    Thank you for this great reminder!

  2. That is so great. My bipolar daughter has totally embraced the eating, sleeping & exercising aspect of her treatment plan. Even when she isn't feeling so good we keep her going with it because it helps her reach 'normal' a little quicker. It really makes a huge difference in their lives. Hope your son embraces this too. I've enjoyed reading all your fantastic news of late. It really is amazing how correct diagnoses and treatment returns to us the children that we know and love. Keep up the great work!!