ADHD, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a developmental disorder that affects about 3 to 5 percent of children all around the world. This is a chronic disorder and 30 to 50 percent of affected kids will carry it into adulthood. The disorder is typically characterized by attention problems, hyperactivity and various behavioral problems that usually start before the child is 7 years old. Management of ADHD is typically based on a combination of various treatment methods including medications, lifestyle changes and counseling.
Regular physical activity is just one of the ways to help this children cope with their disorder. However, finding a right type of physical activity for kids with ADHD is often a great challenge, because of the specific nature of this disease.
Children for ADHD and various sports
For children with attention deficit disorders, not all sports are equally suitable. In general, these children can benefit from regular physical activity, the same way as their peers. However, these kids are not able to cope with any kind of distraction, on the sports field as well as in the classroom. Therefore, team sports are generally least suitable for kids with ADHD. The trouble with team sports lies in the fact that participants in team sports need to be focused on the actions and play of all other team members. This is very challenging for kids with ADHD, if not completely impossible.
Best exercise for children with ADHD
Children with attention deficit disorders will score better in any kind of individual sport. Children will also feel more comfortable when they get a lot of individual attention from the coaches, and they will enjoy being physically active. The best examples of individual sports suitable for kids with ADHD are tennis, swimming, diving, wrestling, cycling or even horseback riding.
Martial arts are especially good, as they incorporate smooth and well-controlled movements, and put a lot of emphasize on relaxation and focus. Children who practice martial arts will soon learn how to gain great self-control and enjoy daily rituals.
If parents are concerned that the child may be missing out on social benefits of being on a team, modifying sports is always an option. Some of the highly experienced professional coaches will know how to make slight adjustments and boost sports experience for children with ADHD. For example, a coach may frequently change drill patterns or field positions, or put children with ADHD in an active field position, to keep their focus on the game.