Friday, July 9, 2010

Tennis and a Walk

I have a friend who also has a son with Autism named Evan. He's older than my son, and loves to play tennis. Several years ago, as a favor to my friend and to get my son a bit more exercise, Evan began "teaching" my son (who also is on the spectrum) tennis in the Summer.

It's more like Evan hits balls directly to my son and if my son feels like it, he hits them back. But as I mentioned, it's still good exercise, so every Summer my son gets tennis lessons from Evan once or twice a week.

I used to sit on a bench and just watch the two play, or sit on a bench and watch my daughter play on the playground (which is next to the tennis courts).

But, because Evan teaches my son at the local high school tennis courts, there is actually a track right there in full view of the courts. The track also is in clear view of the playground.

Since my motto is now "never sit and wait for the kids when you can take a walk," two years ago I started walking around the track while my son had his lesson. My daughter generally plays on the playground, but I can keep an eye on her the whole time I'm walking. I can also monitor how my son is playing as I walk as well.

I bring my hand weights and my Ipod and take a leisurely stroll around the track for the 45 minutes I'm there. I'm probably not burning a ton of calories, but the point is to just MOVE and burn more calories then I would have sitting around on my ass.

I could do a more aggressive work-out, but the lessons are at the worst possible time in the afternoon when the heat is at is worst. There's also no shade to be had around the track, so I'm generally frying. So, I'm lucky I have the incentive to walk at all, never mind trying to accomplish five minute miles.

I actually tried to clock how far I walked and my calories burned on my pedometer. It seems, however, to have been one of those days I didn't clip it on right, and it didn't record either. Well, there's always next time.

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