Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is the mental disorder associated with the poor concentration and attention, impulsive and abrupt physical activities. ADHD is one of the mental disorders that its cure has not been yet established; however, there are various ways in which the disorder can be managed or be treated. Use of stimulants and antidepressants has been the main treatment in the past; however, recent medical research study indicates that an increase in physical exercise can have a positive effect on the treatment of ADHD. However, little research has been established to examine the relationship between physical exercise and treatment of ADHD; therefore, this paper aims is to establish the correlation of age and exercise towards treating or managing ADHD. By focusing on one indicator of ADHD, cognition, this paper is going to discuss the significance of enhanced physical exercise towards management and treatment of ADHD.
ADHD is a common mental disorder mostly associated with children between 3 to 6 years. Kamp et al. (2014) explain that approximately 2-6% of the worlds ADHD diagnosis consists of preschool children, 6-13% are adolescents (P. 709). The disease is mostly affecting the boys than girls; for example, Kamp et al. (2014) assert that approximately 7.9% of the worlds ADHD diagnoses are boys as compared to the girls, 1.8% (P. 709). However, if the condition is not properly managed at the early age, it can extend to adulthood. Various ways are associated with the management and control of the ADHD disease; however, most of them involve the use of medication which also has some other side effects on the users. Kamp et al. (2014) identify some of the treatments for ADHD in the past; for example, the commonly used pharmaceutical administration of the methylphenidate atomoxetine and amphetamines (p. 709). These medicines are recommended for their fundamental effects toward enhancing the cognitive functioning of the victims. Other treatment approaches include psychotherapy, psychoeducation, neurofeedback, multimodal interventions and physical exercise related activities (Kamp et al., 2014, P. 709). Physical exercise activity is the recently discovered treatment for ADHD patients. Intense physical exercise span has been proven to be effective towards management and treatment of ADHD-related effects.
Research shows that physical exercise can enhance the treatment or management of ADHD especially at the early stages of its development. ADHD affect the cognitive performance of the victim which can influence their academic performance. According to Silva et al. (2015), physical activities have been found to be effective in preventing and treating ADHD infection. However, due to a little research on it, its effectiveness has not been established. The authors explain that patients with ADHD have social problems; for example, poor performance in school which can lead to a repetition of a class. Again, such victims also have difficulty in managing social relationships; they are in constant conflict with other people around them. They are also highly exposed to frustration because of the low tolerance level. In their research study to determine the significance of physical exercise towards treating ADHD, Silva et al. found that the students that participated in the physical exercise obtained better results by 30.52% than their counterparts who did not engage in physical activity (P. 8). The results further showed that students with ADHD who participated in the exercise obtained better performance by 40.36% than their counterparts with no signs of ADHD. Silva et al. (2015) argue that intense physical exercise can influence the cognitive performance of the people without ADHD and people with ADHD as well. However, effects are manifested differently; for example, in people without the characteristics of ADHD intense physical exercise is expected to affect or impair their attention. On the other hand, in people with characteristics of ADHD intense physical exercise is expected to enhance their cognitive attention. This concept can help explain and understand why the performance of people living with ADHD in the research was better than that of participants without ADHD.
Kamp et al. (2014) in their study found that physical exercise activities enhanced the social behavior of the participants. As discussed earlier, people living with ADHD are mainly known to be associated with the antisocial behavior which makes it difficult for them to interact and socialize with other people. According to Kamp et al. (2014), physical exercise activities have been found to be effective for the enhancement of the socialization process. However, mainly the authors found that physical activities improved the cognitive functioning of the patients. Patients who engaged in physical exercise related activities such as athletic training recorded improved speed of processing and enhanced cognitive attention. Although the drug therapy has been the most common and effective treatment of ADHD, physical exercise has also been said to be effective. As Nasiri et al. (2015) explain, approximately 75% of children diagnosed with ADHD are treated using the drug therapy approach which has also proven to be effective but received various criticisms. Nasiri et al. however argue that exposure to drug therapy alone cannot ensure effective result; using the drug therapy alone cannot guarantee the effective elimination of the ADHD symptoms. Nasiri et al. (2015) further explain that the long-term effects of the drug therapy also possess a challenge to its effectiveness. However, physical exercise related activities although not fully established have proven to be as successful as drug therapy but without side effects. Therefore, as Nasiri et al. (2015) explain, the effectiveness of drug therapy can be realized with the integration of the medication with other exercise related activities.
Preschool children and adolescents are affected by ADHD more adversely than an adult because they are still going through the developmental process. When the cognitive development process is tampered with as a result of an infection such as ADHD, the problem might last for long even if it is treated. If it is not curbed during the early stages, it might be difficult to eliminate the symptoms completely even if the patient is exposed to drug therapy. Nasiri et al. (2015) identify the significance of physical exercise activities and explain that ADHD can be treated through the perceptual motor approaches which involve increasing the sensory and motor task exposure (P. 2). The victim should be presented with various experiences involving motor and sensory related tasks which can help improve the motor and sensory function. As Kamp et al. (2014) explain physical exercise activities can help improve the motor and sensory performance; thus, reducing the ADHD symptoms. Kamp et al. (2014) argue that physical exercise is more effective than drug therapy. As an illustration, the authors compare the drug therapy with physical exercise. The authors argue that someone who has taken a walk in the park for a day is the same with someone with someone who has been exposed to drug therapy for two days. A single walk is equivalent to medication for two days; therefore, physical exercise activities are considered to be more effective treatment approaches to ADHD than drug therapy approaches. Physical exercise activities have been found to be effective treatment approaches to ADHD because of the significant impacts the have on patients. Silva et al. (2015) measure the effect of physical exercise on the concentration of patients with ADHD. In their research study, the authors found that physical activities helped to improve the cognitive attention of patients because of increased neurotransmitters. Further, the authors found that physical exercise activities helped to reduce the anxiety levels of patients. Again, physical exercise helps to build mechanisms that assist in increasing the amount of neurotransmitters; thus, the patient can be able to manage his/her emotions. With reduced anxiety level, patients can relate with other people and deal with the depression and stress related issues in a better way.
In conclusion, this paper has examined the influence of age on the potential for exercise to treat ADHD. This paper has found that physical exercise related activities have positive impacts on the treatment and management of ADHD. Physical exercise related activities helps to improve the cognitive attention and also build mechanisms that assist in increasing the neurotransmitters that assist eliminate the ADHD symptoms. Although its effectiveness has not been fully integrated into the medical institutions, but based on this research exercise has proven to be the most effective and efficient treatment approach that do not have many negative effects on the patients as the drug therapy approach. Therefore, as Nasiri et al. (2015) assert in their study, even the drug therapy cannot guarantee positive results; however, it becomes effective when it is integrated with other approaches such as exercise.
Kamp, C. F., Sperlich, B., & Holmberg, H. C. (2014). Exercise reduces the symptoms of attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder and improves social behaviour, motor skills, strength and neuropsychological parameters. Acta Paediatrica, 103(7), 709-714. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Hp/Documents/Exercise%20reduce%20the%20symptoms%20of%20adhd.pdf
Nasiri Taft Yazd, S., Ayatizadeh, F., Dehghan, F., Machado, S., & Wegner, M. (2015). Comparing the Effects of Drug Therapy, Perceptual Motor Training, and Both Combined on the Motor Skills of School-Aged Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Children. CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders), 14(10), 1283-1291. Retrieved from http://www.interactivemetronome.com/IMW/IMPublic/Research/Efffect%20of%20IM%20Training-ADHD.pdf
Silva, A. P., Prado, S. O., Scardovelli, T. A., Boschi, S. R., Campos, L. C., & Frere, A. F. (2015). Measurement of the Effect of Physical Exercise on the Concentration of Individuals with ADHD. PloS one, 10(3), e0122119. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Hp/Documents/Measurement%20of%20the%20effect%20of%20physical%20exercise%20on%20the%20concentration%20of%20individuals%20with%20ADHD.pdf
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