With close to 10% of school-aged children struggling with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chances are you have a loved one or know a boy or girl who deals with this difficult diagnosis. But as challenging as managing these behavioral problems can be, there are ways that parents can help their child to not only live with ADD/ADHD, but really succeed and thrive.
A structured fitness class, such as a martial arts program, is one such option to ameliorate the three primary characteristics of ADD/ADHD – inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Karate and tae kwon do place a strong emphasis on concentration and self-control. In a fun, supportive environment, children can learn to develop skills of attentiveness and discipline, while cultivating respect for both themselves and others.
Gradually, many students with ADD/ADHD who are enrolled in martial arts training are able to focus their attention for longer and longer periods of time. This shift in behavior usually brings about a corresponding uptick in confidence and self-esteem, which can be lacking in kids with ADD/ADHD. It is also a highly effective way to channel excess energy, particularly for boys or girls who consider sitting still to be a Herculean task.
We all know that exercise can help kids build strong and healthy bodies, but the effect on their brains is equally powerful. Recent studies have indicated that engaging in physical activity releases endorphins, and increases levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine – brain chemicals which have a positive impact on increasing alertness and regulating the attention system.
Contributed by USA Karate & Fitness Official Training Center http://www.usakaratefitness.com