Can exercise play a role as an alternative treatment for ADHD?
At this point, a growing number of studies are showing preliminary support for the benefit of exercise on behavioral and cognitive functioning with individuals with ADHD, particularly children. However, because the research right now continues to be somewhat limited, we’re not able to answer the question definitively.
We recently came across an article online called Physical Exercise as ADHD Treatment: Necessary but not Sufficient, and we agree with their message: Exercise seems to be an effective complementary treatment for ADHD signs and symptoms, but it is not necessarily sufficient in treating the disorder.
We have spoken about the role of exercise before, and anecdotally, we know that exercise has helped with signs and symptoms of ADHD in most, if not all, of our clients who have incorporated it into their lifestyle. We’ve been told that exercise has helped with focus, stress, emotional reactivity, resilience, and mood.
So yes, exercise can be extremely helpful as a way to help manage your focus. Is it enough as a standalone treatment intervention? At this point we don’t know, but not likely. There isn’t enough research to support the answer to the question either way, so what it comes down to is what works for you!