Exercise Can Be Antidote for Behavioral Issues in Children

With behavioral issues in children on the rise, there is a need to find better ways to manage them. As exercise was always believed to be a healthy choice, recently, it has earned a repute as a treatment option for behavior issues in children. So, is exercise an antidote for behavioral issues in children? Well, yes, that’s possible. Exercise is already known to be beneficial for many physical and emotional problems and behavior issues in children can be one of them.

Exercise Can Be Antidote for Behavioral Issues in Children

Doctors and psychologists have been recommending making exercise a part of our life for better physical and mental health. Exercise is beneficial for adult as well as children as it not only rejuvenates the physical being of a person but also refreshes the mind. Many researchers have emphasized on the importance of exercise as a part of everyday activity for children as it is a great way of channelizing their energy. It is highly recommended especially for children and teenagers who have behavioral issues such as autism spectrum disorder, hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression. These kids may be intelligent and fare well in studies, but it is important to help them learn to use their energy in the right way.

Any form of exercise included in day to day activity of children with behavioral issues can help to build a better behavioral pattern in them. While many still question the benefits of physical activity for behavioral issues in children, latest researches and studies have suggested many benefits of exercise in the form of sports or any other physical activity which can help in their development.

Benefits of Exercise to Manage Behavior Issues in Children

With an aim to resolve behavioral issues in children, lot of studies have been conducted to find the best way to help them channelize their energy. Physical activity in the form of exercise or sports can be extremely beneficial for the overall development of the children with behavioral issues. It can be undertaken as a therapeutic approach for structuring developmental activities in schools and at home.

For children who suffer from autism syndrome, hyperactivity, anxiety or depression, daily exercise can help them channelize their energy, anger or anxiety in the physical activity thus helping them to control and manage their behavior. A fixed routine of exercise in gym classes or at play grounds, a structured every day timetable for sports like running, cycling, football or any other sport can help the kids to not only learn to control their behavior and energy but also learn social skills. This can help them learn to follow certain patterns making their behavior organized and systematic. Many such physical activities that help in mental as well as physical well-being of the children can be undertaken by teachers, counselors, therapists and parents.

Role of Exercise in Development of Mental Health in Children

A daily fixed regime of exercise can help build better mental health of children having behavioral issues due to various reasons. The benefits of any type of physical activity can be directly observed in the brain development of such kids.

  • Exercise helps to direct the energy, anxiety or anger in the kids in such a way that they can use these issues in a positive way.
  • Various activities like bike riding, playing various sports or simply running can release endorphin that can improve signals to the brain leading to behavioral regulations.
  • The positive effect of exercise on the mental health of children and teenagers with behavioral issues can be observed as the abrupt burst of energy, anxiety or anger are controlled in a better way.
  • Involvement in group physical activities like playing football or cricket can enhance the responses. Such activities can help improve social behavior as well as help them control their emotional and physical responses. It also enables children to participate in social activities and thus learn social skills.

Thus, it can be said that exercise is an antidote to behavioral issues in children.

Role of Exercise in Development of Physical Health in Children

Apart from behavioral issues in children, poor physical health is also often noted, which may contribute to more behavioral problems. Exercise helps to build physical strength in many ways.

  • Regular exercise helps to increase appetite helping in development of a proper diet regime.
  • An hour of physical exercise strengthens the muscles in the body and the heart helping them to function in a better way. This way many physical ailments like body ache, muscular stiffness and heart diseases can be avoided.
  • Regular exercise helps the heart to pump blood more regularly helping the veins and arteries function better.
  • It also increases the lung capacity thus providing better oxygen supply to the body and avoiding breathing issues.
  • Exercise helps reduce excess body weight as well as lowers the blood sugar levels.

Kids with anxiety issues and depression may suffer from blood pressure issues which can be regulated through a regular regime of exercise. Any type of regular physical activity for such kids can help to maintain their energy.

Motivation Through Exercise

Psychologists believe that regular physical activity and exercise routines can make the children feel motivated and stay focused. Regular exercise in any form can help develop a positive attitude and self-confidence resulting in better behavior. Parents and teachers can help children participate and learn different forms of exercise, sports, dance or other physical activity. These different ways to channelize energy can make exercise an antidote for behavioral issues in children. When they succeed in any activity, sports or games, they feel more motivated and can take up to the activity or sport voluntarily. Researches and studies show evident development in the behavioral patterns when exercise is included in day to day activity of children with behavioral issues.


For mental, physical and behavioral development of kids, any form of exercise can prove beneficial. To treat behavioral issues, various types of exercises can be adopted. Exercise in the form of physical training in gyms and yoga classes can be recommended. Apart from these, various forms of sports like, football, cricket, cycling, swimming, bowling, basketball and others can also be undertaken. Other forms of exercise like dancing, gymnastics, aerobics or running can also be extremely beneficial. Dancing can teach the kids to organize, coordinate and control their activity with music helping them to learn to control their hyperactivity.

Exercise in the form of a daily walk in the park can also be immensely beneficial. Many kids who have behavioral issues might also suffer from learning disabilities. Exercise can help them build their learning abilities as well as enhance their skills. No wonder, exercise is an antidote for behavioral issues in children.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 10, 2021

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