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How does exercise help thinking and behavior in kids with ADHD?

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One of the areas in which kids with ADHD have particular trouble is with executive function. That's the set of problem-solving skills we use to plan and organize.

A lack of these skills makes it hard for your ADHD child to remember to finish his homework or to take his lunch with him when he leaves for school. Exercise may improve executive function in kids with ADHD.

Many kids with ADHD also struggle socially and with their behavior. Playing a sport can have the added benefits of improving both of these areas.

In studies, kids who exercised got in trouble less often for disruptive behaviors such as talking out of turn, name calling, hitting, moving inappropriately, and refusing to participate in activities.

Because of all these benefits, exercise can boost the effectiveness of ADHD medicine when they are used together. It also can help kids who haven't responded to stimulant drugs or other ADHD medications.

From: Exercise for Children With ADHD WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Medina, J.A. , March 2010. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Chang, Y.K. , March 2012. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology

Gapin, J. , December 2010. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Kang, K.D. , December 2011. International Journal of Sports Medicine

Gapin, J. I. , June 2011. Preventive Medicine

American Heart Association: "Physical Activity and Children."

Taylor, A.F. , March 2009. Journal of Attention Disorders

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch on July 28, 2016

SOURCES:

Medina, J.A. , March 2010. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Chang, Y.K. , March 2012. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology

Gapin, J. , December 2010. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Kang, K.D. , December 2011. International Journal of Sports Medicine

Gapin, J. I. , June 2011. Preventive Medicine

American Heart Association: "Physical Activity and Children."

Taylor, A.F. , March 2009. Journal of Attention Disorders

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch on July 28, 2016

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