Your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, and you aren't sure of what you can to do help. Even when they take their medicine, they remain hard to manage. Thankfully, you can use exercise to help calm their overactive mind and give them a new focus. While it can't take the place of their medicine, it can go a long way towards burning their excessive energy and straightening up their thoughts. A good exercise routine can even help entertain them for extended periods of time to stave off boredom.
How Exercise Helps Kids With ADHD
A new study of exercise and ADHD found that exercise could, along with medication, serve as a useful alternative method of maintaining the symptoms of ADHD in both children and adult. It works by activating the struggling "attention" system in children with ADHD, the system that helps them sequence events, prioritize activities, and pay attention to events.
As a result, exercise helps children with ADHD become:
- Less impulsive
- More focused on sustained activities
- Successful in school
- Happier and healthier
The latter point is particular interesting: children with ADHD have brains that are often naturally low in dopamine, the chemical that produces pleasure. Exercise will promote the production of this chemical and help improve the mental health of children with ADHD.
Typical Exercise Routine For Kids
This simple 25 minute exercise ritual will help activate many of the ADHD control benefits mentioned above. It will also help exhaust their incredible amount of energy, improve their cardiovascular health, and boost their strength. This routine includes five minutes of each of these exercises:
- Warm up walk around the block
- "Red Light, Green Light," which is a game of sharp stops (red light) and quick starts (green light)
- "Jump or Drop," which involves jumping and dropping into a plank on command
- Freestyle, during which your child can pick any exercise
- Cool down walk around the block
If your child still feels the need to work out, either repeat the routine later or lead them in three new exercises. In this way, you can engage their mind in multiple activities and stave off boredom. Boredom often strikes many people with ADHD and can lead to a variety of problems, including depression and anxiety.
However, if you find that no amount of exercise can calm your child's hyperactivity, it might be worth getting to a doctor or a psychologist. There may be something else at play here, including psychological problems or even chemical imbalances. That said, integrating activity into any child's life is well worth the effort.
For more information, contact Rainbow Pediatrics or a similar location.