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deal with their disorder through focus strategies and emotional stress management, yet because of recent studies, exercise also seems to offer that fix --without any nasty or harmful side effects to go with it. When we exercise, endorphines are released, but so are other chemicals that improve the brain’s areas of focus and attention, as well as its ability to handle and cope with anxiety and emotions. The natural result for a kid with ADHD who exercises is that they are more readily able and susceptible to learn when it’s time. The truth is that when people with ADHD find something about which they’re passionate, they will dedicate and push themselves harder than most --and usually succeeding beyond their dreams! So what does this mean for my ADHD kid? The ability to exercise your brain, body and build stamina and to become passionate about something is a great beginner for young children who are diagnosed with ADHD. Since kids are in school for so much of their time, that’s a great place to start. Enrolling your child into a school system with advanced Physical Education classes for structured and guided activities is very important, as is the general assumption that the school encourages movement throughout the day. Some

school systems are keying in on the link between focus and exercise and offer stretching breaks or even begin the day with some form of aerobic exercise to help the students start their day off right. Outside of the educational system are programs which provide activities focused on enhancing the ability to create executive control in the brain. Many schools are beginning to see the value and importance of offering these extras, or you can research for similar services in your area for after school or summer programs for your child. Specifically regarding exercise, aerobics and gymnastics are the top 2 choices for exercising a child’s physical and mental muscles. A semi-disciplinary sport that can be both professional and recreational allows for unstructured play, while building endurance to focus on the next step or task. Check out places like The Little Gym, indoor trampoline parks, or even your local Parks and Rec that offer programs to easily fill this need.

encouraging them to bike throughout the neighborhood or find some new greenway trails and get exploring. They could also train with a running club at your local YMCA to run in a local charity race as a culminating event. It may even be worth looking into a Crossfit or Bootcamp style gym where there is a focus on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and where class circuits and people are constantly changing. Having a routine outlet for their hyperactivity and impulsivity allows kids to be primed for learning. Focus from exercise results in increased executive functioning skills, which are required for organization and time management, all important to your child’s maturity and academic development. One last key to success is to have your kids set goals and then reward them when they reach them. It could be completing their first 5K or attending so many sessions at the gym, or even improving on a challenging gymnastics or dance routine. Just be sure to steer away from food as rewards and look to activities like going to see a movie, buying a new book or a new building set, or maybe even a special outing or trip as acceptable.

For older kids, they may be more inclined to invest their time and energy into a school or intramural sport. If they’re not inclined to work well as part of a team, they can also explore We all know that exercise more individual types of exercise improves our overall health and like karate and kickboxing, our moods. When kids with ADHD dance, or even running groups. incorporate more of it within their Other ways to keep things daily lives, the evidence is clear --interesting (which kids with they are clearing their heads and ADHD often need), include boosting their brains, too!

Natasha is a mom of twin girls, an educator, a self-published writer of a children’s book titled Twindollicious and a blogger, where she shares all things twin like and fashion for kids. She worked in the field of education for almost 10 years before fulfilling her dreams of having children of her own. It was then that she felt she could truly make a difference in a person’s life --- in this case, these two Twindollicious girls with great personalities. Connect with her on facebook and twitter. 68


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Multiplicity Spring 2016  

Multiplicity's spring issue is loaded with tips on keeping your family safe! From things to consider for sleepovers and summer camps, tips f...

Multiplicity Spring 2016  

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