On-Demand Webinars

RESCHEDULED Webinar on February 28: The Exercise Rx for ADHD: How Movement Improves Attention, Working Memory, and Executive Functions

Register below for this free expert webinar about the effect of exercise on ADHD with John J. Ratey, M.D., on Thursday, February 28, at 1 pm ET.
Sign up and you will receive the free webinar replay link after 2/28 as well!.

Register for this free webinar ►

*This webinar was rescheduled from its original date to February 28 at 1pm ET*

Not available February 28? Don’t worry. Register now and we’ll send you the replay link to watch at your convenience.

Powerful evidence shows that exercise helps children and adults manage their symptoms of ADHD. Movement turns on the brain’s attention networks and eases other symptoms of ADHD, such as hyperactivity. In short, physical activity benefits the ADHD brain by elevating levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, two chemicals linked to attention.

A steady diet of movement and vigorous play also has a positive effect on behavior and motivation, resulting in better school performance and better self-esteem. What’s more, studies suggest that exercise can reduce addictive behaviors — from excessive screen time to vaping and marijuana use. Overall, physical activity is a go-to treatment that parents and adults can use to better their lives with ADHD.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why exercise and play have such a powerful effect on the brain in general and attention in particular
  • The latest research on how physical activity helps improve ADHD symptoms
  • How exercise acts like a stimulant medication to increase neurotransmitter levels
  • Case studies of how exercise improves learning and motivation
  • Exercise routines that are especially effective for patients diagnosed with ADHD


Have a question for our expert? Sign In and submit your question as a comment at the bottom of this page.

Meet the Expert Speaker:

John J. Ratey, M.D., is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an in internationally recognized expert in neuropsychiatry. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and 11 books, including the groundbreaking Driven to Distraction series with Ned Hallowell, M.D. With the publication of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr. Ratey has established himself as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection.

John Ratey, M.D., is a member of the ADDitude ADHD Specialist Panel.

Webinar Sponsor

The sponsor of this week’s ADDitude webinar is….

Play Attention: Exercise for the mind! Play Attention is the most comprehensive neurocognitive training program available designed to strengthen Executive Function and Self-Regulation. But technology by itself is not enough. The mind also grows with exercise, coaching/counseling, good nutrition, mindfulness, behavior shaping, and parent training. These are all components of the Play Attention system. Call 800-788-6786 and learn how we can customize Play Attention for you. | www.playattention.com | Request a Free Professional Consultation

Mention code #AdditudeMag0219 and receive $200 off your purchase + our Mindfulness App for FREE

ADDitude webinar sponsors have no role in the selection of guest speakers, the speaker’s presentation, or any other aspect of the webinar production.

6 Related Links

  1. Is brief exercise worth it? Background I struggle with Adult ADD and depression. Unfortunately, I don’t use my gym membership frequently. However I have found that doing jumping jacks for as little as a minute improves my immediate focus and motivation. I’ve heard from a few doctors that to benefit from exercise you need at least a half hour. So, if I don’t have time, is it worth it?

    1. Coming from those doctors’ point of view, they’re looking at that 30 min recommendation for cardiovascular health, prevention of obesity, diabetes, cancer, etc. not brain health or your specific need for help with ADHD. Besides, they are just going off rote recommendations. You yourself see the benefits of just short bursts of exercise. 30 minutes would give you even more improvement. You don’t even have to do it all at once. You can break it up into sessions of 5-10 minutes when you have time and still see improvement. And if you can’t get to the gym, do your calisthenics, try fast walking, etc. btw, heavy exercise, long periods (hours at a time, 7 days a week) can actually be counterproductive physically, it might be bad brain-wise as well.

  2. I’ve noticed the enormous benefits of exercise on ADHD symptoms but am looking forward to learning from you why this seems to be so beneficial.
    Here’s my question: my spouse struggles my giving 30 to 60 minutes of a busy day to exercise. She consistently asks if I can just do chores around the house more vigorously, but when I try this, I don’t see any benefit on my ADHD symptoms. Is there any way to find the win/win and get exercise without actually giving time to exercise (e.g. some sort of housework)?

  3. As an athlete with ADHD, I’m curious about the effects of stimulant medication on the central nervous system when combined with high intensity, high volume exercise.
    Specifically, can using stimulant medication while doing this form of exercise put an athlete at a higher risk of CNS overstimulation and overtraining? Would reducing the dose help to prevent this and still be effective at treating ADHD symptoms?
    In an instance of CNS overstimulation/overtraining, (and just plain training, really) does use of ADHD stimulant medication hinder/prolong CNS recovery and recovery from exercise in general?

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