ADHD and exercise are a beautiful combination. Most people know that exercise is incredible for the body, but not everyone is as up to speed on the benefits it gives for the brain. In fact, we will go as far as to say that you probably can't overestimate the importance of combining ADHD and exercise in a healthy approach to professional ADHD treatment.
So what kind of impact can exercise have on ADHD? Well, when it comes to mental health generally, some studies have found exercise to be just as effective a treatment as pharmaceutical drugs. This interaction is especially true when it comes to ADHD and exercise.
Understanding the benefits of combining ADHD and exercise:
Everyone knows students with ADHD struggle to focus (not that students without ADHD are concentration kings and queens). That said, regular exercise has been proven to increase your ability to focus.
But that's just the starting point.
Improving your concentration, clearing foggy thinking, and lifting your mood are all results when ADHD and exercise go together. Exercise can also reduce anxiety, help social interaction, and increase confidence in your kids. Additionally, studies have noted an overall sense of one's positive well-being that's correlated between exercise and ADHD.
Perhaps you could have guessed that your kids with ADHD would be positively impacted by exercising regularly. Okay, great. But here's the question most parents have: how do you practically help your children exercise? Try these 8 tips to help your kids embrace their ADHD and exercise at the same time.
ADHD and Exercise Tip #1: Try to do 30 minutes each day.
This may seem daunting if your kids do not currently exercise regularly. We understand that. But ADHD is a daily reality, and exercise should be also.
ADHD and Exercise Tip #2: Any exercise is better than no exercise.
Don't feel like you need to perfect your child's exercise plan early on. Just try to get them moving. Even kicking a ball in the yard for a few minutes is better than nothing.
ADHD and Exercise Tip #3: Consistency is better than intensity.
Exercise is a life-long pursuit. Don't think one 3-hour workout per week is going to get the job done. Small doses of consistent exercise are going to benefit your children the most.
ADHD and Exercise Tip #4: Combine cardio and weights.
This isn't a recommendation for very young children. But for older kids, they should try some weights and some cardio work. Both are important for overall health and well-being. You can combine these pursuits in one day, or you can alternate days each week.
ADHD and Exercise Tip #5: Get your children in a sport.
Sports engage the brain in far deeper ways than running on a treadmill does. Sports may also help your kids stay engaged and persevere in their exercise routine. Soccer just seems more exciting than standing still, doesn't it?
ADHD and Exercise Tip #6: Exercise alone or in a group.
You and your child can talk about this plan. Some kids may want to exercise alone primarily. That said, groups can help you stay motivated. Just look at the growth of an exercise industry giant like CrossFit and you can see what we mean.
ADHD and Exercise Tip #7: Get outdoors.
Nature can have the effect of refreshing and calming the mind. For every parent of an ADHD child or anyone with ADHD themselves, this is beautiful.
ADHD and Exercise Tip #8: Mix it up.
FastBraiins can get bored easily. Switch sports or activities before your boredom sets in and paralyzes you.