Exercise to Reduce Symptoms of ADHD

We all know that exercise is a good thing. Working out for just 30 minutes a day can make a world of difference – strengthening your heart, relieving stress and boosting metabolism.

But it turns out that exercise isn’t just for toning up or losing weight. It can help resolve symptoms which are common to ADHD, such as hyperactivity, poor academic performance, and lack of mental focus. According to this Atlantic article, researches of the University of Illinois shared that physical activity shows important enhancement of cognitive performance and brain function, especially for those who are hyperactive and have ADHD.

The article states, “The improvements in this case came in executive control, which consists of inhibition (resisting distraction, maintaining focus), working memory, and cognitive flexibility (switching between tasks).”

The difference between two groups of kids who did the exercise program and those who didn’t were extremely dramatic. Those who did, showed vast improvement in brain processing capacity and mental workload during cognitive tasks that required executive control in children.

The articles talks about how millions of kids are immediately introduced to medication such as amphetamines and other stimulants to address ADHD. In fact, between 2007 to 2011, the number of prescriptions increased from 34.8 to 48.4 million, which is an almost frightening increase. Based on this research, scholars are starting to propose that it might be a better idea to start implementing exercise into these kids’ lifestyles, instead of simply resorting to medication, which can cause unwanted side effects, such as stomach pain, low appetite and sleeplessness.

So, if it’s one of your new year’s resolutions to exercise more in 2016…good for you! Try incorporating more exercise routines into your and your child’s life, and see how working out might help reduce ADHD symptoms. You can read the full article in the link below.