ADHD and exercise- what’s the connection? If you or your children have ADHD and you are looking for a natural way to help manage it, you may want to consider exercise! Today, Peggy Dolane will share with us a bit about the connection between ADHD and exercise. She a blogger for the Edge Foundation which provides ADHD coaching for high school and college students. She works closely with Robert Tudisco, the Edge’s Executive Director.
This information is not provided by a medical professional. Please consult with a qualified health professional if you have questions or concerns about your a condition.
ADHD and Exercise
Soon after he was diagnosed with ADHD 12 years ago, Robert Tudisco discovered running was one of the keys to managing his ADHD. The diagnosis helped explain why he struggled in areas that others didn’t. After the diagnosis, Tudisco looked back and noticed there was a direct correlation in his academic performance and his fitness level.
Tudisco always had problems with procrastination. He discovered that training for a marathon helps him hone skills that counteract his procrastination tendencies. After all, you can’t cram training for a marathon into the last week!
Running helps Tudisco clear his mind, plan his time, and manage his projects. Running has also boosted his self confidence because it provides him with control over something that’s positive in his life. Many people with ADHD have low self-esteem because they frequently make errors that seem avoidable. Running is an outlet that gives Tudisco focus and center. He encourages people to find something inside themselves that provides that positive feeling – and pursue it. Crossing the finish line is incredibly empowering!
ADHD Exercise Research
Exercise Enhances Cognitive Performance And Brain Function
Tudisco’s experience that exercise helps manage his ADHD symptoms has been backed up by solid research. In 2014, research published in Pediatrics, concluded that, physical activity (PA) “intervention enhanced cognitive performance and brain function during tasks requiring greater executive control. These findings demonstrate a causal effect of a PA program on executive control, and provide support for PA for improving childhood cognition and brain health.”
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by John J. Ratey, is an accessible book that documents the importance of exercise on brain functioning as well.
Tudisco believes so strongly in the power of exercise as an ADHD management method, he founded TeamEdge and has dedicated his 2011 New York Marathon run to raise awareness and funding for ADHD coaching.
You don’t need to run a marathon to benefit from exercise. Tudisco encourages people to find an activity that they are comfortable doing – and keep it up. Walking, biking, swimming, even yoga, have all been shown to improve focus and concentration.
“I discovered I have to move in order to think,” says Tudisco. “Running has become my moving meditation. Finding your stride is the place you feel most at home. You don’t have to feel pain in order to benefit. The key is doing a sustainable activity. Go out there and move! “
Do you think you will try exercise to help manage your ADHD or your child’s ADHD?