Exercise Can Help Children with ADHD

You probably know that exercise has enormous benefits for your physical and mental health. But, did you also know that physical exercise can help reduce the effects of ADHD in children? A recent nine-month study, done by the University of Illinois, found that physical activity in children can help build attention span in children.

The study

Scientists at the University compared the brain activity of children, ages seven to nine, who were involved in an after-school program that incorporated physical activity and those waiting to get into the program. Those that were the most active and had the attendance in the program showed an increase in the ability to resist distraction and focus on tasks.

Behaviors of children with ADHD

Attention-Defecit/Hyperactivity Disorder, though more common in males, is being diagnosed more and more in females. ADHD is most associated with an inability to focus for any length of time. Children with ADHD might also exhibit other behaviors, such as:

  • Likeliness to daydream
  • Careless mistakes
  • Lose items often
  • Might not listen when talked to
  • Inability to follow through with activities

Exercise is a treatment option

“The vast majority of kids being treated for ADHD are amendable with environmental influence, but a great bulk of those children wind up on medicine.” – Dr. Lawrence Diller, author of “Running on Ritalin”

Like many ADHD drugs, physical activity also releases dopamine and serotonin. Exercise also helps to increase memory and brain activity, developing long-term changes.

A holistic approach is needed for lasting results

6.1% of children ages four to 17 take some sort of medication to manage symptoms of ADHD. Though beneficial, they are also highly addictive and not ideal for a permanent solution. Exercise is crucial for young people; however, it might not necessarily replace medications entirely.

Children with ADHD thrive at therapeutic boarding schools

Most children who have ADHD are also suffering from other mental and emotional disorders, as well. A therapeutic boarding school, such as Asheville Academy, can help your daughter with every issue she is facing. We provide a supportive, family-focused environment to help your daughter make lasting changes. 

For more information on getting help for your child and how Asheville Academy can help, call AAG at 800-264-8709.