In our previous blogs, discussion has been focused on the neurophysiological impact of exercise on the adult with ADHD. Research also shows that exercise has an impact on children with ADHD as well.
One such study, conducted in the “medical journal Pediatrics, found that kids who took part in a regular physical activity program showed important enhancement of cognitive performance and brain function.”
“Using objective measures of attention, brain neurophysiology, and academic performance, task performance and event-related brain potentials were assessed while participants performed an attentional-control task following a bout of exercise or seated reading during two separate, counterbalanced sessions.
These findings indicate that single bouts of moderately-intense aerobic exercise may have positive implications for aspects of neurocognitive function and inhibitory control in children with ADHD.”
Beyond general exercise, such as walking, your ADHD child can obtain extended mental and physical exercise by participating in sports. Listed below are the top 10 sports that can benefit your ADHD child.
“BASEBALL: America’s favorite pastime, baseball can teach your ADHD child patience, sportsmanship, and teamwork.
ARCHERY: Sure, arming your ADHD child with a sharp weapon may seem counterintuitive, but when carefully supervised, archery can have major benefits. It is proven to teach responsibility while improving focus, concentration, and self-confidence
TRACK & CROSS-COUNTRY: Running teaches kids discipline and pacing, plus, your child will still gain the social benefits of being a member of a team, without directly competing with other children.
HORSEBACK RIDING: As your child interacts with the horses, she will learn to observe and react to the animals’ behaviors instead of responding with the same behavioral patterns.
SOCCER: Being on a soccer team gives kids a sense of camaraderie. You’ll also find that the constant action in soccer games is ideal for holding short attention-spans.
WRESTLING: If your child has misguided aggression or seemingly boundless energy, wrestling may be a fun (and safe!) way to channel these emotions into something positive.
GYMNASTICS: Studies have shown that activities requiring close attention to body movements, such as gymnastics, may help ADHD and LD kids improve their focus.
TENNIS: Tennis requires neither coordinated teamwork nor heavy concentration, a plus for many ADHD kids. Plus, hitting tennis balls can be a great way for your ADHD child to release any anger or frustration he feels from a challenging day at school, for example.
MARTIAL ARTS: One surprising benefit of martial arts is its use of rituals, such as bowing to the instructor, which can help teach kids with ADHD to accept, develop, and use routine in other areas of their lives.
SWIMMING: ADHD children excel with structure and guidance—and a swim team can provide just that. Swimmers receive valuable one-on-one time with coaches, while still enjoying the social benefits of being part of a team. Your child will be able to focus on personal development—by improving personal swim times—without any direct comparison with others on the team.
COACHING MATTERS: When picking a sport, remember that coaches have a huge impact. Most coaches are well-meaning parents who know little about ADHD, so it’s important that you share your expertise about your child. Let a coach know, for example, that making your child run 15 extra laps for not paying attention during practice is not effective, just humiliating. Sports should allow your child to build relationships and work on self-confidence outside of the classroom, not further increase his anxiety and stress.”
Let Play Attention help you exercise your brain. Attend one of our upcoming FREE webinars: http://www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/.
January 20th @ 11:00 AM ET/8:00 AM PT
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