Could exercise be the answer?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I was thinking out loud on my other post about difficult child 2's focus improving after he's exercised a bit. Last night he did really well on his homework and that was after basketball practice.

    Today, he forgot his 12:30 medications because the school schedule was different. So he got them at 2:00 instead when he got home, but he was literally spinning. He said his mind was jumping all over the place -- almost to the "buzzing" point, as he calls it, but not quite.

    I let him play a computer game for an hour since he'd gotten home early, and then he went for a short bike ride down our hill and back up. It's a fairly steep ride back up, so he was winded and sweating by the time he got home. Then he sat down and got busy on his homework! And he's doing great. I haven't really had to redirect him at all like I usually do.

    I'm wondering if this half-hour of exercise is something we need to implement before homework EVERY day?

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think it can be helpful They say it is one of the best "cures" for depression- it makes endorphins get released naturally or something like that. But- with my difficult child having mood cycling, I also have to watch to make sure his bike rides don't turn into disappearing for 2 hours and ending up in trouble. LOL!
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Hmmmm... well I did a little bit of reading and I understand that aerobic exercise increases dopamine levels. Which is exactly what's lacking in the attention component of ADHD. Perhaps we can use exercise as a dopamine booster for homework?

    I wonder if a brisk walk in the morning would get him focused for school as well... the question is how long will it last before he starts to fall apart again?
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Crud, it's wearing off already. Guess it's time to have him go for a run :D
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    CHORES time!!
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Now, I did NOT say he was COOPERATIVE! ;)
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have a little duct tape and a hammer lying around- would you like to borrow them?
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, he got through all the homework for today and in a record time! Now he's out with the neighbor kid and mom walking their greyhound down the block.

    klmno, it's gonna take more than a LITTLE duct tape to rein him in, I'm afraid! And I don't trust him with hammers...
  9. i swear if I could get difficult child to run 3 miles in the morning; he'd be great (almost said loose most of the medications; but that's dreaming). High protein for my difficult child (he's a very picky eater) is a big deal too.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think exercise could play an important part. A cooperative difficult child-those two words don't go together, at least in my house!! Glad he got his work done in record time!
  11. ML

    ML Guest

    I do think exercise is extremely beneficial. I wish I could get manster to do more and getting him to his swimming has been a chore this week.
  12. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    A friend of mine says her 14 year old easy child boy needs an hour of exercise in order to settle down to do his homework. I think you are on to something!

    I may try adding some exercise to my homeschooling program with difficult child 2 to see if it works for her.
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    This is one of the most useful tools Matthew learned in wilderness camp. He noticed, himself, (not mom making him), that exercise made him feel better. When he got to the group home, in the beginning, his favorite thing was to work out on the eliptical machine. He was so compulsive about it, that when it broke, he lodged a formal complain to the board because they took too long to fix it.:surprise: He has waxed and waned in his interest level with exercise over the last couple of months, but he states undeniably, that it helps his anxiety immensely.

    Of course research backs all of this up as you said. Exercise increases the dopamine levels. Yes, it wears off a bit - but I think there is also a sustained increase in dopamine if a person exercises over an extended period of time.

    I would say go for a regimented daily routine! It might not make his attention perfect, but if it helps - YAY!

    Good luck - and kudos to difficult child for being willing to participate in being healthier! That is the part I could never get the ODD side of Matthew to embrace.
  14. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Absolutely the best choice! It changes the chemistry and blood flow. It works the body in its intended manner. It is the best habit and regular pattern for learning and life.
  15. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    We try and make sure that k gets to School about 20-25 minutes before hand, so she can play hard at the playground. This helps her at School.
    We have to watch it after School, if we do too much it can trigger her. Or if we do too much too late it can trigger her.
    It is a fine balance...
    But good when it works!
    Swimming is K's best thing and yoga.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know several people from foreign countries who, by our standards, would be considered ADHD. As kids, they walked 5-10 miles to school every day. They didn't have TV until they were teens.
    There's something to be said for that!
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. Totoro, your quote from Forlorn Hope is exquisite.
  18. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    My youngest rotates between exercise and sit down, fine motor tasks at Occupational Therapist (OT) for just that reason. The exercise helps temporarily to organize his brain better. Easy enough to do.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Heavy work and exercise are and will be written into difficult child's iep. He can't function without periods of intense movement.
  20. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I swear he would have been better off if he'd been born on a farm! And the same could likely be said for husband, too.