It’s no secret that I believe that exercise is one of the most important ways to manage ADHD. Even with successful medication therapy, exercise is key to managing our brain chemistry. And if you have depression and/or anxiety like I do, you get twice the benefit from the exercise, as I also believe it to be crucial to managing those issues as well. And for the record, it’s not just me. There is more an more research all the time pointing to the neurochemical value of exercise.
I’ve written a good deal about how to get a workout routine started in the past. I’ve also written about how to make it a habit and other similar topics. Today I wanted to share some recent successes I’ve had in my workout life. This is not to toot my own horn, but to share some new insights that I’ve recently gained.
Let’s start with today since that’s what made me think about bringing this up. Well, actually, let’s rewind to yesterday… Or maybe we should rewind and I should share where I am in my overall workout life…
My goal is to work out everyday… on average. That can mean many things. Typically I cycle through three different workouts: 5 mile run, usually on the treadmill at the gym, interval sprinting on the spin bike while watching hockey or Netflix, and one of three lifting routines. Sometimes I do two-a-days to balance out days that I don’t work out. Kind of maniacal, I know. But it works for me. I don’t necessarily recommend every do what I do.
Anyway, I had taken a day off on Sunday and really didn’t feel like going on Monday. But I don’t take two days off in a row, so I forced myself to go to the gym, stretched out, and got on the treadmill. There are definitely times when I get on the treadmill, take two steps, and my body tells me, NO. Then I just turn around and go home. On this day, (Monday the 4th,) I got on by telling myself that I’d just run nice and easy at 7:50’ish mile. That’s about as slow as I go and is generally pretty easy… but sometimes pretty boring.
Once I got on, I felt more energy and cranked it up to a 7:00 minute mile. But that was exhausting. Sometimes when I do that I can only last 3 miles. I’d rather do 5 miles at a slower pace and get in a longer workout. But ADHDers like novelty. I generally like consistency in my workout, but not that day. That day I needed to mix it up to get through it. Hint: I think the victory here is that I was willing to be flexible and innovative. So I changed my speed for each song on my running mix on shuffle. The catch being that I varied between 7.5 miles/hour and 8.6 miles per hour with no discernible pattern, while doing a different speed for each song. And I managed to make it 5 miles averaging about 7:22 mm which is pretty good for me.
Again this is not designed to toot my horn. I’ve been running for 25 years. This is the first time I’ve ever done it this way… the first time it ever occured to me to do it this way. And, even if it only worked this once, it worked this one. Victory!