We all know exercise is good for us; it keeps us looking trim while improving our overall health. This isn’t new information by any means, but exercise is continuing to prove beneficial in other areas as well.
Studies are now showing that exercise may be able to help improve focus. It might sound a little far-fetched, but it actually makes sense.
You know when you’re working out and are in the zone? That has to do with the part of your brain that’s being activated. Exercise triggers attention to work in all the right ways – sustained focus, memory, prioritizing, and more. On top of that, working out releases endorphins.
A lot of us have heard that before, but what are endorphins?
They’re similar to hormones but they regulate mood; which is why you might find yourself in a good mood after hitting the gym. But endorphins aren’t the only thing your brain is producing during a workout.
Exercise also causes a release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin – a few chemicals that not only make you feel good, they also help with focus. Unsurprisingly, people with focus issues tend to have a deficit of these chemicals.
If you’re thinking you need to be an athlete to feel these benefits, don’t worry. You don’t. Researchers say that as little as a half-hour walk a few times a week can be enough to start seeing benefits.
While walking can be a great option for adults with focus issues, some kids might prefer games and sports. More complex activities like basketball, volleyball, and dance are a few good options for kids.
These will engage your child mentally while still providing enough exertion to get those endorphins released. Another benefit to routine exercise (especially for kids) is its ability to boost confidence. Studies have even shown that people who are aerobically fit are less likely to experience feeling helpless.
So if you’re looking for help getting started, start by finding something you enjoy and will want to keep up long term.
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ADDitude Editors. Exercise and the ADHD Brain: The Neuroscience of Movement. Retrieved from https://www.additudemag.com/exercise-and-the-adhd-brain/
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