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Embracing Whole-Body Movement in My Daily Routine

Whole-body movement series (part-2)

Read Autism and Whole Body Movement (Whole-Body Movement series (part-1)

Embracing Whole-Body Movement in My Daily Routine: A Day of my Life

In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, often neglecting our physical and mental well-being. For me, as the key worker of SpecialSaathi and a dedicated mother to a 6-year-old on the Autism Spectrum, the significance of whole-body movement goes beyond personal health. It’s a transformative experience that has not only positively impacted my life but has also proven to be a boon for my child.

In today’s blog post, I will explore a bit of my daily routine of integrating whole-body movement and the profound effects it has had on my overall life.

When I founded SpecialSaathi, a platform dedicated to supporting families with children on the Autism Spectrum. Through my work, I have gained invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by the special needs families. One recurring theme that I identified was the need for holistic approaches to support both the child and their caregivers.

Individuals on the Autism Spectrum often face sensory and motor challenges, making it essential to address these unique needs through specialized therapies and interventions. I recognized that whole-body movement activities play a significant role in this context. Physical activity can help improve sensory processing, fine and gross motor skills, and even communication.

My Personal Journey

By following a meticulously planned schedule, we can not only manage our household responsibilities but also can maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. My journey towards embracing whole-body movement in my daily routine goes way before when my son wasn’t even born. I had been a marathoner, and pursued a couple of sports as a hobby or say as a passion. Now, after having Yuvaan, I gradually introduced physical activities, workouts regime again in my own regime and as a part of my son’s therapy, play and daily schedule. I understood that by leading by example, I could encourage him to explore movement as a form of self-expression and self-regulation. My routine was carefully structured to accommodate this change.

Morning Routine

My day begins at the crack of dawn, around 6 AM. I kick off my day by attending to my household chores, which includes preparing breakfast and tiffins for my son and husband, as well as managing other kitchen works. As I go about my morning tasks, I ensure that every movement counts ā€“ from making the bed and dusting to rearranging items around the house.

After dropping my son to school, I head to a nearby park for an hour(7-8 kms) of brisk walking/jogging. This not only helps me stay physically active but also sets a positive tone for the day. After the walk, I return home for other morning work, which includes my daily puja, fostering a sense of balance between physical and spiritual wellness.

Work, Work, Work

By 10 – 10:30 AM, my work-related activities commence. This phase of my day is filled with a variety of tasks ā€“ specialsaathi daily work, meetings, mails, calls, texting, Excel sheets, promotion, strategy planning, and much more. It’s easy to get lost in such work, but I ensure to break up my day with movement activities.

Midday Break

Before picking up my son from school, I dedicate around 40-45 minutes for another invigorating movement break by heading into gym for a quick HIIT(strength training) based workout. The school is conveniently located near my home, so I walk both to and from the school. After returning, there’s a quick routine of my son’s bath and lunch before quality time with him.

Afternoon Playtime and Outdoor Activities

Playing with my super active son, checking school work and notices, and squeezing in some study sessions keeps me fully engaged. Later, instead of idling while my son enjoys the playground’s slides and swings in evening, I opt for more movement and walk inside the park. We often visit the exercising machines at the local Noida authority park to indulge in whole-body exercises in an open pleasant environment, bonding together over the joy of movement and meeting new friends (local kids from the nearby village and some pets).

End of the Day

Our evening outdoor sessions usually wraps up with around 2+ km walk cum run. Back at home, my son continues his playtime, and I get back to my household chores and specialsaathi work, replying to messages, mails etc. It’s important to note and understand that how I maintain such a rigorous routine, my child, my work, home, support groups, interactions with parents, professionals and working with so much movement throughout the day, by prioritizing and multi-tasking. This is just a broad outline, as work related to SpecialSaathi and taking care of a 6 year old, managing household all of it is my 24/7 kind of demanding job.

The SpecialSaathi 200-Days 5k Steps Challenge

My dedication to an active lifestyle has led me to launch the SpecialSaathi 200-Days 5k Steps Challenge for parents, mothers, and caregivers of our SpecialSaathi Community members during October. This initiative encouraged mothers to incorporate daily movement activities into their lives, track their steps, and inspire their children to join in. The benefits of whole-body movement go beyond physical health; they also contribute to improved cognitive function. At the present moment, today we find ourselves at the 25th day of this remarkable challenge, during which I have consistently maintained a prominent position atop the leaderboard. My daily commitment to achieve an impressive stride count of approximately 25,000 to 26,000 steps has positioned me as a frontrunner in this competitive endeavor. And, my latest stride count is 30k daily.

The Impact

I ensure that outdoor activities are a regular part of my routine. Our weekly trips to a mall, or a park, mela, excursions provide sensory stimulation and quality bonding time with my son.

The incorporation of lot of movement- based physical activities into my daily routine has had a profound impact on my life and my child’s development:

A. Improved Sensory Processing: My child’s sensory sensitivities have reduced, leading to a more comfortable daily experience.

B. Enhanced Motor Skills: I see a lot of enhanced and improved fine and gross motor skills in my son over the period of time, resulting in his better focus, sitting spans, coordination, balance, improved writing and physical confidence.

C. Increased Communication: Physical, outdoor play activities provide opportunities for communication, waiting, turn taking, sharing, observation, creating a stronger bond, improved social and emotional development and fostering language and communication development.

D. Stress Reduction: The practice of mindful and constructive physical activities has helped us both manage our anxiety, stress, making our daily routines more manageable.

The Ripple Effect

My journey extends beyond personal boundaries; it encompasses a commitment to sharing my experiences and championing the significance of whole-body movement. Through this endeavor, I aspire to catalyze a ripple effect that leaves a positive imprint on countless lives.

From the outset, I have fervently advocated for physical activities rooted in endurance. My personal journey has consistently revealed the transformative power of integrating whole-body movement into my daily regimen. These outdoor, movement-centric pursuits have not only enriched my own well-being but also opened doors to profound positive change in my child’s life.

The purpose of this blog is to elucidate how whole-body movement seamlessly melds into our daily existence. By affording precedence to physical activity within the constraints of our hectic schedules, we stand to enhance our own health and, in parallel, serve as beacons for others to emulate.

I invite you to share your thoughts and invaluable feedback on today’s blog. Your insights are greatly appreciated.

Author Shilpi Mayank Awasthi
Founder SpecialSaathi