Diet, Exercise and Learning Disabilities

Can Diet and Exercise Help You Cope with Learning Disabilities?

Exercise and learning disabilities. Getty Images Credit: Hero Images

For someone with a learning disability, every day is a struggle. Whether the learning disability affects their communication skills, perception, or ability to focus, it presents a challenge while carrying out normal daily tasks. While doctors will prescribe various medications to treat disabilities such as ADHD, there may be lifestyle changes that will also help to make living with the disability simpler. The effect that diet and exercise will have depends on each individual. While one person with ADD or ADHD may have great success instituting a regimented exercise program, another individual may not see the benefits as greatly.

How can exercise help? Particularly in the instances of learning disabilities that challenge a person's ability to focus, exercise can be an essential part of a treatment program. Exercise stimulates the body to produce endorphins that will in turn stimulate the brain to repopulate receptors in the parts of the brain where they are not currently. In individuals who do not have any learning challenges, exercise can help them to focus, and the same is true for those with learning disabilities. With exercise, a marked improvement may also be noted in the areas of both decision-making, and memory.

Nutritional Treatment - Studies have shown that some lifestyle related issues are more apparent in people with learning disabilities. It has also been documented how important nutrition is to those without a learning challenge. Therefore, it is understood that anyone can benefit from a proper diet low in processed and refined foods. Some practitioners have stated that a 90% improvement has been observed in those with a learning disability simply through dietary changes. They claim that conditions such as food allergies and celiac disease can cause or exaggerate the condition.

Building a solid foundation - It is important to consult your doctor before making any big changes to your lifestyle so that they may monitor your health in the case that there are any unknown conditions. Also, do not stop any medications without first consulting your physician.

When undertaking lifestyle changes, you need to institute new habits slowly. It is important to take your time as not to become overwhelmed. If you are making these changes for your child, lead by example and join them on the journey. The best way to change your diet is to slowly introduce healthier foods or add some more vegetables to dishes that you currently serve. Slowly change the dishes and they will evolve into a mainstay of your new, healthier persona.

Introducing exercise can be a breeze when implemented correctly. Choose activities that you think you may enjoy and then try them all. By doing this you will be able to identify ways to stay active that you will enjoy. Everyone knows that if you genuinely enjoy doing something, you are less likely to skip out on it. Some ideas to try are:

A little bit of exploration on your part can help you discover even more activities that you may enjoy.

Mencap, a UK based charity for those with learning disabilities, points out some areas of concern. There are higher instances of obesity, and being underweight among those with learning disabilities. This can be due to many factors including the severity of the learning disability or by another condition that is being impacted by it, as in some developmental disabilities. It is best to evaluate every avenue and have your doctor follow the changes that occur. In doing this, you may identify that diet and exercise are key factors for living and functioning despite a learning disability.

This guest post is by contributing author Kate Simmons. As an avid health blogger, diet and nutrition is her passion. Kate's main goal now is building up solid core strength with oblique exercises and various foundation-improving training regimens.

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