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How exercise is alternative medicine for Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Updated on June 22, 2016


ADHD is a disorder characterized by lack of proper coordination of the in the neurocognitive mechanisms. The use of exercise in managing ADHD requires proper understanding of the neurocognitive mechanisms that are underlying the specific behavioral symptoms. The function of the working memory is the major issues attributed to ADHD. This means that the difficulties associated with lack of concentration is purely attributed to memory problems. The working memory helps an individual to concentrate on multiple things at the same time. In this case a person is able to keep one thing in mind while working on another. The working memory also helps in recalling previously stored information on demand.

People suffering from ADHD have a deficiency in some regions of the brain and the neural system that control the processing of attention. Self perceptions are poor to those with ADHD. Some physical exercises have been found to stimulate parts of the brain that are associated with the ADHD making the patients to remain active for a period of time


There are many ways in which exercises are carried out to help in the management of ADHD. These exercises are conducted with the guidance of a qualified therapist. In addition parents can involve children with ADHD with various exercises at home. Playing is one of the methods that are used by therapists and health officials to help children suffering from ADHD. Play therapy is designed to help children resolve psychological difficulties that are prevalent with individuals suffering from ADHD. Through the use of play therapy, children are able to realize near optimal growth in the parts of the brain that are associated with ADHD. Play therapy is considered to be effective in helping children with ADHD to develop creativity in their reasoning and gain clarity when dealing with issues. Studies have shown that play therapy is an effective way of dealing with children who have disruptive behavior in school and those who lack concentration both of which are symptoms associated with ADHD. Cognitive strategies therapies are forms of Exercises that are focused on regulating the directional behaviors. In these exercises strategies are first formulated to determine the way an individual can be easily assisted. A strategy involving behavioral inhibition is used to help in the suppression of impulses that leads to unwanted behaviors in those with ADHD. Lack of behavioral inhibition in children with ADHD is associated with deficiencies in some parts of their brain and lack of proper functioning in the brain. The exercises act as stimuli to these parts of the brain. Motor training is an example of cognitive therapy that is administered to children with ADHD. Motor training has been observed to be effective in facilitating the development of and stimulation of some parts of the brain that are associated with ADHD. For instance the movement of hand in controlling other motor can be important in development of brain and proper coordination of the neural system.


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    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Amen to that, brutishspoon! Inclusion and social skills awareness is the key.

    • brutishspoon profile image

      Amy 3 years ago from Darlington, England

      When I was an athletics coach I coached 2 young boys that had either ADD or ADHD. They where great athletes especially sprinters. It is good for any kid to exercise but for those with ADHD I would recommend finding a sports club that will take them in. It can be hard because people don't understand ADHD etc, but there are ones out there where the coaches are parents of kids with ADHD or similar and will willingly help. At the time I was a coach I had no children but grew up around disability and so understood a little and I always felt that mixed ability inclusion in any activity should be the norm.

      Anyway back to the point. Sport allows ADHD suffers an outlet for their hyperactivity and it can also help with their attention problems. If they enjoy the sport they will listen, I know this from my experiences. I was thanked by one of the boys moms on one occasion as she had never seen him be so helpful as he was on one of the nights I coached him. He even helped me up after I fell on the track and banged my head.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      I worked as a specialised literacy teacher for dyslexics for many years. In our school we also had some pupils with ADHD, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and the like, as often these areas overlap with dyslexia.

      We noticed that exercise helped a lot with the ADHD children (in fact, all of them), especially if channelled to a particular theme or interest. They also had squeezy balls or some other such object to 'fiddle' with whilst in class, so that they did not distract the others, as long as it wasn't thrown around the room! It worked well in most cases.

      I was interested to read your hub as it comes under my area of study.

      Good information and it helps others to understand. Thanks, too, for the follow.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A problem that lies with many kids and parenting does become difficult. You have informed me about another topic in detail and to the point.

    • Jay lmz profile image

      Jay Wyne 3 years ago from America

      Thanks for the appreciation. will provide better articles.

    • profile image

      Theresa Jonathan 3 years ago

      This is awareness Hub Article I appreciate because the concept of ADHD is not well understood. Less educated communities could mistaken the condition for witchcraft - some form of classification where anything that beats explanation falls in. Thanks for the information.

    • urstrulee profile image

      urstrulee 3 years ago from Midwest USA

      I really enjoyed reading this! You provided lots of new information.