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Exercise Can Be an ADHD Medication

Kid Doing Regular Physical Activity

Story at-a-glance -

  • Kids who engaged in a regular physical activity program had improved cognitive performance and brain function
  • The kids showed an improvement in executive control, which includes inhibition (the ability to maintain focus), working memory, and cognitive flexibility (or switching between tasks)
  • Executive functioning is often impaired in children with ADHD, which means exercise may directly help to improve symptoms
  • A before- and after-school physical activity program also reduced inattention and moodiness among young children at risk of ADHD, as well as improved math and reading test scores
  • Other research revealed that 26 minutes of physical activity each day helped to significantly reduce ADHD symptoms in grade-schoolers

By Dr. Mercola

About two-thirds of US children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) take some form of prescription medication to treat it. While ADHD makes it difficult for children to pay attention and control impulsive behavior, powerful stimulant drugs like Ritalin and Adderall help to improve focus and self-control.


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