Exercise regularly to cut attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder risk

  • IANS, New York
  • Updated: Jun 17, 2016 17:46 IST
A single exercise session has psychological benefits for adults with elevated ADHD symptoms, finds a new study. (Pinterest)

Exercising is beneficial for you in ways more than you know of. According to researchers, exercising every day, even for a short span of time, can help cut the risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD symptoms can lead to depression, low energy and motivation, poor performance at work or school and also increased traffic accidents.

A single bout of exercise has psychological benefits for adults with these elevated ADHD symptoms, which lead to anxiety, the findings showed.

Read: Here’s how to keep your exercise routine going through the summer

“Exercise is already known as a stress reducer and mood booster, so it really has the potential to help those suffering with ADHD symptoms,” said the study’s senior author Patrick O’Connor, professor at University of Georgia in the US.

“And while prescription drugs can be used to treat these symptoms, there’s an increased risk of abuse or dependence and negative side effects. Those risks don’t exist with exercise,” O’Connor said.

The study tested 32 young men with elevated ADHD symptoms who cycled at a moderate intensity for 20 minutes on one day, and on another day sat and rested for 20 minutes as a control condition.

The participants were asked to perform a task requiring focus both before and after the different conditions, and researchers noted leg movement, mood, attention and self-reported motivation to perform the task.

Read: Want good memory all your life? Exercise regularly in middle age

As a result, researchers found that it was only after the exercise when the participants felt motivated to do the task. They also felt less confused and fatigued and instead felt more energetic.

The study was published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Interestingly, leg movements and performance on the task did not change after the exercise — rather the exercise helped the young men feel better about doing the task.

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