3 Indoor Exercises Your ADHD Child Should Try this Winter

December 28, 2014 by Dr. Yannick Pauli

All your ADHD child needs is 30 minutes of exercise each day to significantly reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Getting any movement done during winter can be challenging – especially when tablets and other screens provide a tempting distraction. But there are ways to make indoor movement fun for your kids. Here are some ideas.

Dance to burn excess energy

Dancing is a great activity for kids with extra energy to burn. It’s also a fun way for parents and kids to enjoy time together. Make a playlist full of up-tempo songs that encourage everyone to get off the couch and get active. Tailor the list so you and your kids will enjoy every moment.

If a half hour of non-stop dancing sounds like too much for you or your kids, break it up into short segments during the day. Turn on a tune when the kids start getting listless, and remember that it’s good for their bodies and their brains.

Balancing on exercise balls

A good compromise between screen time and physical movement is to get your child to sit on exercise balls while watching TV or playing on the computer. Research shows that students with ADHD who sat on exercise balls at school had better focus and behavior. In response to the ball’s instability and in order to remain balanced while sitting on one, the body instinctively — and continually — engages core muscle groups. Constant movement is required in order to stay seated on the ball. And that movement, however slight, improves focus.

Martial arts

Martial arts provide kids with the structured environment and discipline needed for better mental focus and physical development. Many kids with ADHD have a great time with martial arts because it lets them practice diverse moves that keep them interested and active. It’s a fun form of exercise that anyone can practice at home with little to no equipment. Other sports may offer similar benefits, but they’re harder to practice indoors.

Researchers keep finding reasons for parents to consider movement and ADHD an essential partnership. Staying active burns excess energy and improves mental focus and social skills. Given all of the benefits, it’s clear that you should keep finding ways to get your child moving throughout the year.