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How daily exercise can help a child with ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder many children and adults suffer with. It’s most commonly diagnosed in childhood but can be diagnosed at any age. In fact, there has been an increase in adult diagnoses of late. If you’re a parent with a child with ADHD, you may be wondering how you can help.

You will probably notice that your child with ADHD struggles to pay attention and shows impulsive behaviour. These behaviours could include acting without thinking and being very active.

You may also notice that your child with ADHD suffers from low self-esteem and have trouble at school or with relationships.

But you can do many things to help your child if they have been diagnosed with this disorder. Exercise, especially, can help.

Child with ADHD writhing ADHD on a blackboard. ADHD is Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

How physical activity can help a child with ADHD

Numerous studies have found that incorporating physical activity as part of your child’s daily routine positively impacts ADHD symptoms.

Your little one will burn off some of the abundant energy they have as a child with ADHD. There’s also research that suggests exercise can help improve cognitive functioning and sharpen memory.

Moving your body is linked to boosting your brain’s neurotransmitters. These are chemicals in your brain that help to improve your mood and also help you sleep.

Moreover, exercise helps promote dopamine in the brain, which has been shown to improve attention and decrease aggression and impulsiveness.

So, all in all, exercise works to help combat all of the most common symptoms you’ll likely see exhibited by your child with ADHD.

Child with ADHD playing tennis to express energy

How exercise can help your child with ADHD sleep better

Trouble sleeping is a common problem among ADHD children. Being active can help boost the chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, which will help your child sleep.

And importantly, getting enough sleep each night will help lift your child’s moods and also boost their memory.

If you have a child with ADHD that has issues with their sleep, read some tips from an expert.

How exercise helps improve learning in a child with ADHD

There have been some studies that show that 30 minutes of exercise before school was able to help improve ADHD symptoms in children.

Any type of physical activity causes blood to flow to the brain. This then fires up your neurones and promotes cell growth, which is essential for learning and retaining information.

Other exercise options to help your child with ADHD

Many things will help your child with ADHD. Exercising is a great option, but other options exist for parents struggling to keep their ADHD child happy and healthy.

Being in nature

Kids play outside in nature which is a perfect way to help your child with ADHD

Other research has found that being in nature in early life may lower the risk of developing ADHD.

Children and adults who spend time in nature can increase their ability to pay attention and lower stress and anxiety levels.

Some of the health benefits of being in nature are that it helps improve short-term memory, lowers stress, improves immune function and boosts mental health.

Playing sports

Young girls doing boxing as a way to excell excess energy due to both being a child with ADHD

Playing sports can also help increase a child’s confidence. The most ideal sports for children with ADHD are those with a more individual focus, like swimming, martial arts and track.

Team sports like hockey and soccer are also great, as they provide constant motion, and your child with ADHD can use up their energy and have less time to become distracted.

If your child has no interest in sports, don’t fret. Gymnastics and dancing are also great ways to get active. Even simple doing some jumping jacks or jumping on a trampoline daily will do the trick!

It’s all about finding something they are comfortable with and enjoy doing, and it will no doubt help your child with ADHD manage their symptoms.

For tips on children and sleep, check them out here.
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