Exercising Is Good!

By Morgan Kimball 

Exercise is so important, especially for children with ADHD. Did you know that exercise can help with issues like lack of focus, impulsivity, and poor social skills? Regular exercise can have a positive impact on a child’s ADHD symptoms. Experts say that children should at least get 60 minutes of exercise a day, whether taking a walk, playing a sport, etc. Exercise isn’t just for getting your body in shape; it can also help keep the brain in shape too. Studies have shown children with ADHD who exercise perform better on tests of attention and have less impulsivity. 

Researchers have also found that exercise works on children’s brains in many different ways: 

  • Blood Flow – Exercise can increase blood flow to the brain, and children with ADHD may have less blood flow to the parts of their brain responsible for: 
    • Thinking 
    • Planning 
    • Emotions 
    • Behavior 
  • Blood Vessels – Exercise can improve blood vessels and brain structure. This helps with thinking. 
  • Brain Activity  – Exercise increases activity in parts of the brain related to behavior and attention.

With the winter months ahead and children being stuck inside, it can be hard to get out and exercise every day. Here are some fun activities to do indoors: 

  • Scavenger hunt – Come up with a list of hard-to-find or hidden objects in the house. Searching for objects can help keep both body and brain moving. 
  • Balloon volleyball – Blow up a balloon and use a piece of tape to mark the center line on the ground. If there is more than one child, add more balloons! 
  • Hallway hopscotch – Use tape to make a hopscotch grid.
  • Water-bottle bowling – With 5 to 10 empty plastic water bottles and a soccer ball or another ball about the same size, you can create a homemade bowling alley. You can use a little sugar, salt, sand, etc., in each bottle so they don’t tip easily. 
  • Twister – A classic game that is a great way to keep children moving, help them work on gross motor skills, and give them practice telling left from right. 
  • Indoor snowball fight – Not with real snow but with Nerf balls, balled-up (clean) socks, or even crumpled-up paper for snowballs. 
  • Dance party! – Don’t forget the power of music to help your child burn off some energy. You can also play a game of Freeze Dance. When the music stops, everyone has to freeze in their current position; if you move, you’re out.