Now that I’ve spent the summer talking about food prep and kitchen organization, I think it might be a nice change to talk about workout strategies. I’ll start with the overview and then do smaller posts on each aspect of the overview.
Why exercise? Because it’s good for you, dummy! Just kidding. You should exercise because it is one of the best ways to help manage your ADHD! It’s true. There’s research to prove it. Getting your heart rate up of a substantial period of time, (let’s say 20 to 40 minutes) directly produces dopamine, which allows you to concentrate better, and serotonin with positively affects mood and anxiety. All the research indicates that the best thing you can do to affect a positive outcome for ADHD is medication intervention. The second best thing you can do is behavioral intervention. In my opinion, the next best things to do are get enough sleep and exercise regularly.
So, in case you need to see it in black and white, let’s review the positives of exercise for us humans with ADHD:
- Better attention.
- Less anxiety and better, more stable mood.
- Better sleep. (See how those tie in!)
- Less stimulation seeking behavior, especially by eating.
- You will be healthier.
- You will probably look better.
And there’s no downside or nasty side effects. I will note that I’ve never known anyone with substantial ADHD who could manage it solely through exercise, but it is definitely part of the solution.
Here are some of my top workout tips for ADHDers:
- Pick activities that you enjoy. (Or at least not hate it.)
- Have a variety of activities so that you don’t get into a rut.
- Don’t fall into black and white thinking. For example, don’t convince yourself that the only good workout is a 40 minute run. 10 minutes is better than nothing, and will usually turn into something more.
- Don’t push yourself until your workout sucks. Leave with a good feeling.
- Know yourself. Home or gym? Morning or evening?
- Don’t miss more than one day in a row while starting the routine if you can help it.
- Find time on the weekend when you’re less busy. Then you only have to find out how to workout around work 2 days a week.
- Keep a workout calendar to keep track of your progress.
- Be patient and learn to delay gratification.
- Practice self talk to motivate yourself.
More on these 10 points in upcoming posts.
Standard Disclaimer: In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.