Studies show that about 30 minutes of exercise each day can significantly reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Parents trying to pull their kids away from TV and computer screens may find this goal difficult, especially during cold winter months that make outdoor exercise nearly impossible.
Before you give up on combining ADHD kids and exercise, get your kids to try these indoor exercise and movement ideas.
Dance to Burn Excess Energy
Dancing is a great activity for kids with extra energy to burn. It's also a fun way for parents and kids to enjoy time together. Make a playlist full of up-tempo songs that encourage everyone to get off the couch and get active. Tailor the list so you and your kids will enjoy every moment.
If a half hour of non-stop dancing sounds like too much for you or your kids, break it up into short segments during the day. Turn on a tune when the kids start getting listless, and remember that it's good for their bodies and their brains.
Aerobic Activities for Coordination
Any type of aerobic exercise could have positive effects that help children with ADHD burn excess energy. Some types of activity, however, may improve mental concentration better than other activities. For the best results, choose exercises that involve aerobic activity and accuracy. This helps activate the brain's executive function, which has been linked to improved mental focus in children with ADHD.
Ideally, you want your children to play games that exercise coordination and accuracy. The more complicated the game gets, the more your child could benefit.
Some indoor games that meet this criteria include:
- Lava floor: You've probably played this game before. Imagine that the floor is made of lava and you are only safe in designated spots. Now, challenge your kids to cross the floor without getting burned.
- Hopscotch: Use tape to create a hopscotch court on a hard floor. Hopscotch challenges kids to identify numbers while exercising coordination.
- Horse: Indoor basketball goals make it safe for kids to play inside. Playing games like Horse encourage children to improve physical accuracy while using letters. You can even develop your own games that use different words, or even math, depending on your child's age.
Improve Focus with Martial Arts
Martial arts like tae kwon do and kung fu give children structured environments that encourage mental focus as well as physical development. Many children with ADHD enjoy learning martial arts because they get to practice diverse moves that keep them interested and active. It's a fun form of exercise that anyone can practice at home with little to no equipment. Other sports may offer similar benefits, but they're harder to practice indoors.
Movement and ADHD
Researchers keep finding reasons for parents to consider movement and ADHD an essential partnership. Staying active burns excess energy and improves mental focus and social skills. Given all of the benefits, it's clear that parents should encourage kids to engage in ADHD exercises indoors whenever possible.
The Brain Balance Program® works to integrate sensory input and strengthen motor skills through activities that are designed to improve balance and stability and to increase muscle tone so a child can react more quickly. Our unique integrated approach helps your child achieve optimum body and brain function, which supports improved learning—academically, socially, and emotionally. You’ll be amazed at the physical and academic advances your child will make during our program.
To learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help your child reach their full potential, contact us online or find a center near you.
Disclaimer: The information presented on this web site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment of specific medical conditions. Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you and your family.