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Physical exercises can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD, claims new study

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can affect a child in many ways. Be it poor concentration skills to socialisation, the challenges are many. But with the right support, many of these signs can be alleviated. A new study says physical exercises can play a major role.

Exercising is good for all kids, whether they have a disability or not. In the case of children with ADHD, who experience anxiety, low energy, depression and lack of motivation, exercise plays a critical role in reducing stress and enhancing the mood. It can substantially help reduce the dependence on medicines, which also cause side effects.

Dr Sudheesh Sundaran Pillai, an expert in sports medicine, has seen that regular physical activities significantly helps reduce the severity of ADHD symptoms and helps improve cognitive functioning in children.

Physical activities, especially in kids, is very important. Getting involved in sports and games can do wonders to the health of a child. So, while exercise is not necessarily the solution for a child struggling with ADHD, it can have a positive effect on concentration and is a vital part of healthy physical and mental development for a child. Exercises can help in keeping the brain in good shape. - Dr Sudheesh Sundaran Pillai, Sports medicine expert.

Dr Pillai says when kids exercise, the amount and mix of chemicals called neurotransmitters in their brain releases change. "It includes dopamine which is involved with attention. The stimulant medicines used to treat ADHD works by increasing the amount of the same chemical in the brain as well. That is why working out is crucial"..

Researchers in the University of Georgia recently conducted a study on 32 youngsters with symptoms of ADHD. They were made to exercise for 20 minutes a day. They showed greater motivation after the exercises, less fatigue and more energy. It also helped them concentrate better on tasks assigned to them.

Preetha Anoop Menon, parent to a child with ADHD has ensured that workouts are a regular part of her son Shiv's daily routine.

"I encourage him to do all possible physical activities. He loves skating and swimming". On days when Shiv does not exercise, Preetha notices a distinct change in mood. "He becomes low and finds it hard to sleep as well. This tells me how important exercises are and there is no excuse to avoid them".

A good approach is to find a mix of exercises and sports for your child so he or she stays interested and motivated to keep to a regular routine. Doing the same physical activity every day can get boring, so look for two to three workouts or games your child could be a part of. It's also a great way to build your child's social skills.

ALSO READ: Some ways to manage ADHD without medication

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