How to motivate your ADHD child to exercise

boy on mom back piggyback both smilingWe are constantly being told how much daily exercise will improve symptoms of ADHD. One study showed that as a little at 30 minutes of daily exercise will improve your child’s focus, mood, and cognitive functioning. Now the question is, how to get them moving? Finding an activity your child enjoys is key to consistent exercise. If they are pushed in the wrong direction it could turn them off exercise completely. Here are some helpful ideas I found at

Make a list of their interests. If everything they say includes screen time, ask them what they would do if the had no electronics available. Even if you’re just walking around the mall, it’s a good start to getting them up and moving. Get creative with sedentary activities. 

Watch videos: Have them sit on a stability ball, use a standing desk, or setup a stationary bike. 
Drawing: Setup an easel or have them use chalk to draw on the sidewalk outside. 
Playing with dolls or action figures: Suggest that your child build villages or locations for their dolls or figures all around the house. They can visit those spots to act out different activities.  Try try again. Suggest new activities based on your child’s interests. There may be things they would not think about or haven’t tried before. Or try new activities all together like rock climbing, swimming, or martial arts. Find what motivates your child. 
Social: Ask them if their friends are doing activities they want to try or invite a friend to join them in a new activity. 
Knowledge: Try educating your child on the benefits of exercise. How it can improve their development, health, brain clarity, mood, and confidence. 
Competition: If they want to get better at a specific sport you can suggest how to practice and improve their abilities. Address fears or worries. Discuss any fears or anxieties that your child may have about new activities. They might be worried about their performance and how they compare to their peers. If you can understand and empathize with their fears, they will feel more supported confident about trying the new activity. Be sure to recognize any small achievements and stay positive. 

Our Healthy Lifestyle blog is posted by Hannah. Hannah is our Executive Accounts Manager who has been part of the Play Attention family for over 11 years. She continually strives to make certain our families and professionals develop successful Play Attention programs