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What's the Best Exercise to Manage ADHD Symptoms?

What's the Best Exercise to Manage ADHD Symptoms?


Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be a challenging journey, impacting various aspects of daily life. While there are various treatment options available, including medication and therapy, incorporating regular exercise into your routine has been shown to be an effective and holistic way to manage ADHD symptoms. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between exercise and ADHD and delve into the question: What's the best exercise to manage ADHD symptoms?

Understanding ADHD:

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It affects people of all ages, and the symptoms can significantly impact academic, occupational, and social functioning. While medication is a common treatment approach, many individuals seek complementary strategies to enhance their overall well-being.

The Link Between Exercise and ADHD:

Research has consistently highlighted the positive impact of exercise on cognitive function, mood regulation, and attention span. For individuals with ADHD, regular physical activity can be particularly beneficial. Exercise increases the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which are essential for regulating attention and impulse control—two key areas affected by ADHD.

Best Exercises for Managing ADHD Symptoms:

Aerobic Exercise:

  • Activities such as running, swimming, cycling, and brisk walking are excellent choices. Aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain, promoting the release of neurochemicals that enhance cognitive function and mood.

Strength Training:

  • Engaging in activities that involve resistance training, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, can have positive effects on executive functions like working memory and cognitive control.


  • Yoga combines physical postures, breath control, and meditation, providing a holistic approach to managing ADHD symptoms. It can help improve focus, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.

Martial Arts:

  • Disciplines like karate or tai chi incorporate physical activity with mental focus and self-control. These practices can be especially beneficial for individuals with ADHD, promoting concentration and emotional regulation.

Team Sports:

  • Participating in team sports like soccer, basketball, or volleyball not only provides physical benefits but also fosters social interaction and teamwork. The structure of team sports can be particularly helpful for individuals with ADHD in developing organizational skills.

Incorporating Exercise into Your Routine:

The key to reaping the benefits of exercise for managing ADHD symptoms is consistency. Start with activities you enjoy, and gradually increase the intensity and duration. Creating a routine that includes a mix of aerobic, strength, and mind-body exercises can offer a well-rounded approach to symptom management.


While there may not be a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of the best exercise for managing ADHD symptoms, the evidence strongly supports the positive impact of regular physical activity. Whether it's the rhythmic movements of aerobic exercise, the focus of yoga, or the discipline of martial arts, finding the right fit for you is crucial. Consult with healthcare professionals and consider working with a fitness expert to tailor an exercise plan that aligns with your preferences and needs. Remember, the journey to managing ADHD is multifaceted, and incorporating exercise into your routine can be a powerful and enjoyable component of that process.


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