Archive for the ‘physical exercise for ADHD’ Category

Exercise May Be Prescription for ADHD

May 23, 2015

exercise1Physical activity is clearly a high, high-yield investment for all kids, but research shows that it may be especially so in children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Researchers at Michigan State University have found that a 12-week exercise program improved math and reading test scores in all kids, but especially in those with signs of ADHD. In another study in the Journal of Attention Disorders, researchers found that just 26 minutes of daily physical activity for eight weeks significantly allayed ADHD symptoms in grade-school kids.

The improvements came in executive control, which consists of inhibition (resisting distraction, maintaining focus), working memory, and cognitive flexibility (switching between tasks). Executive functioning is impaired in ADHD, and tied to performance in math and reading.

These findings help support the belief that physical activity may be an effective intervention for ADHD in combination with common existing treatment strategies for ADHD such as amphetamines and other stimulants.
John Ratey, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard, suggests that people think of exercise as medication for ADHD. Even very light physical activity improves mood and cognitive performance by triggering the brain to release dopamine and serotonin, similar to the way that stimulant medications like Adderall do.

Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping students of all ages improve study, reading, math and cognitive skills, including memory. We also have customized programs for students with ADHD and learning disabilities. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.

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Exercise as a Non-Drug Treatment for Kids With ADHD

May 25, 2013

We’ve talked about exercise helping seniors prevent dementia. But researchers are also finding that a few minutes of exercise can also help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) perform better academically.

A recent Michigan State University study shows for the first time that kids with ADHD can better drown out distractions and focus on a task after a single bout of exercise. The results are important because they suggest exercise as a possible nonpharmaceutical tool for preventing ADHD.

While drugs have proven largely effective in treating many of the 2.5 million school-aged American children with ADHD, a growing number of parents and physicians worry about the side effects and costs of medication.

The study had 40 children aged 8 to 10, half of whom had ADHD, spend 20 minutes either walking briskly on a treadmill or reading while seated. The children then took a brief reading comprehension and math exam similar to longer standardized tests. They also played a simple computer game in which they had to ignore visual stimuli to quickly determine which direction a cartoon fish was swimming.

The results showed all of the children performed better on both tests after exercising. In the computer game, those with ADHD also were better able to slow down after making an error to avoid repeat mistakes—a particular challenge for those with the disorder.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring and ADHD programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.


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