KARIE DOZER

Final Word: Best drug for hyperactive kids may be exercise

Sep 10, 2014, 8:20 PM | Updated: 8:20 pm

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I’ve always said exercise was my drug of choice. What if we have been treating ADHD in America with the wrong drug?

A new study out of Michigan State University and the University of Vermont finds that kids with ADHD benefit from exercise in the morning before school.

In the US, we medicate something like 7 percent of kids for ADD/ADHD, many of them as young as 5 or 6. That’s a lot of medicine in a little body, especially one that is still growing and is expected to sit at a desk most of the day learning how to read, write, and do math.

So, if we could stop the symptoms of ADD before they happen with a little jog around the block, why wouldn’t we do it? Are we too lazy?

In America, we are so much more ready to take a pill to ease whatever is ailing us than to actually treat it, or, God forbid, prevent it.

For adults, sometimes, it’s the only way but for our kids, I think we need to do it a little better.

My kids’ teachers have always remarked that kids seem a little more focused after gym class. It’s obviously not a coincidence.

Our public schools have been forced to cut back a lot in recent years because Arizona refuses to keep funds equal to the rate of inflation.

Districts have often chosen to cut phys ed classes along with music and art, to focus on the subjects covered in the AIMS test.

As it turns out, our kids might do a little better on the AIMS test if they went to gym class more often.

It’s a tough choice, but if the choice is between Ritalin and running, we should always try running first.

Karie Dozer

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Final Word: Best drug for hyperactive kids may be exercise