Exercise and ADHD

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that last week's updates centered on ADHD for ADHD Awareness Week. I have an almost 8 year old with ADHD, so the subject is very close to me. Unfortunately, work and other commitments didn't allow me to devote the time here on the topic. Until today when I read a study released last week.

As a parent of and ADHD boy, I can tell you it's not news to me that exercise can help with the behavior. Anyone who has dealt with and ADHD child who has been cooped up all day knows what I mean. But now there is starting to be some scientific evidence that there is real benefit to the ADHD child with exercise, outside of behavior.

A study conducted by members of the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had kids, both with and without ADHD, exercise for 20 minutes, then administered reading comprehension and math tests. All children performed better on the tests after the exercise.

However, students with ADHD were able to slow down after making a mistake to avoid another. Something that ADHD children struggle with. This study is particularly interesting in light of other studies that have shown that ADHD kids are less likely to be involved in organized sports or other activities.

What caught my attention in this study is the researchers' intent. Shrinking school budgets are putting many physical fitness programs on the chopping block. Unlike academic programs, there isn't a whole lot of research to support their inclusion in school budgets. The researchers are hoping to provide that evidence.

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