Physical movement is great for anyone, but there is plenty of research that backs how exercise supports students with ADHD. As families transition to virtual learning and new schedules, finding a rhythm and routine for physical activity can be challenging, but here’s why it’s important:
Exercise Impacts Focus & Mood
For a child with ADHD, energy and attention can often fluctuate. A great strategy for helping your child reset is physical movement. This can be as simple as a quick walk around the block, or as complex as a workout video.
Parents/guardians have the opportunity to turn these activities into moments spent together. You can engage your child in a workout video that you do alongside him or her! You can also create ‘mini moments’ of physical activity: throwing a football for a few minutes during lunch or taking the dog for a walk.
Although simple, exercise supports students with ADHD by helping their moods and mental states reset.
Physical Movement Creates Good Habits
The more you can encourage your child to move (together with you, or independently as he/she gains momentum with online learning), the stronger his/her habits will be! Physical activity is essential for life. By finding ways to encourage it throughout the day, and as a natural part, you can help instill good habits that your child will hopefully continue as he or she grows.
Movement Builds Teamwork Skills
Students of all ages benefit from learning teamwork skills. For children with ADHD, sometimes team-building activities can be challenging, due to the lack of sustained attention or struggle remembering multi-step directions.
The benefit of incorporating exercise into your child’s daily life is that it gives him/her an opportunity to practice and build these skills in a more relaxed environment. At home, there is no stress around a grade or expectation. This can help lower the pressure and encourage your ADHD child to learn how to work with others.
Physical Activity Can’t Hurt
Although physical activity isn’t the entire piece of a child’s ‘puzzle,’ it can’t hurt.
Movement helps with both the physical and mental aspects of development. It can also offer much-needed breaks within the routine of a virtual school day. If you’re wondering how to incorporate exercise into your child’s new routine, or are struggling to come up with activities or ideas, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or give us a call at (858) 367-5428.