How Exercise Works Like A Drug for ADHD
Physical activity has short-term but powerful benefits for adults and kids with ADHD.
The Physiological Benefits of Exercise for ADHD
While no one knows the exact cause of ADHD, research indicates it may be related to a dysfunction with the neurochemical dopamine, Golding said. Exercise not only encourages the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain, but by doing so has the same effect on the brain as the stimulant methylphenidate (Ritalin), she explained.
“In essence, exercise does for the brain the same thing that the medications do,” Golding said. “The challenge is that the effects of exercise only last for a few hours following the activity. Since it is not always possible to exercise multiple times a day, other interventions [like medication] can be helpful.”
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