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If you have ADHD, and you want to get control over your life and symptoms, I can guarantee that if you start exercising or just moving your body every day, you’ll change your life because you will change your brain. I’m confident about this statement, not just because science proves it, but because exercise changed my life in so many ways. I’m not sure where I’d be if I didn’t pick up the habit of working out.
Let me explain…
Why Exercise is Critical for ADHD
Exercise is the number one treatment next to medication and therapy for improving the symptoms of ADHD. When you exercise, you get some blood flow and oxygen to the brain. It lays up that prefrontal cortex where all our executive functions are, and usually for the next two to three hours following a good solid workout, you can enjoy a host of benefits, including improved focus and follow-through.
Exercise and Cognitive Dysfunction
If you struggle with any sort of cognitive dysfunction, studies are now showing that a lifetime of activity can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. And it doesn’t have to be strenuous workouts.
Walking is a beautiful form of exercise. You don’t need equipment, you don’t need to go anywhere fancy. You just go out your front door and bob’s your uncle. Bonus points if you can do it first thing in the morning where you expose your eyes to natural sunlight, which will help to regulate your melatonin production and improve the quality of your sleep.
Treat Exercise as Part of Your Treatment Plan
If you have ADHD, consider exercise as part of your self care, treatment plan and mental health regimen. Whether it’s hiking with a friend, taking your dog out for a walk, or doing something a little bit more vigorous, choose something you enjoy, commit to doing it regularly, and you’re going to see results. You’re going to have better focus and follow-through, you’re going to be in a better mood, and you’re going to improve your ability to self-regulate.
Make Exercise Fun and Enjoyable
The key to being consistent with exercise is to make it fun and enjoyable. Instead of calling it a “workout” (which sounds like a drag), call it your daily movement, your daily “you” time, or your daily time with your favorite podcasts.
Reframing what you consider to be a workout into something that you look forward to, will make it so much easier to keep it up. So make it fun, make it interesting, put it into your schedule, create structure in your days, so that it gets done.
How to Create an ADHD-Friendly Exercise Routine
- Start slowly with regular movement, but focus on building a habit more than the type of movement. If you’re new to regular exercise, just start with walking and see where your interests take you.
- Treat exercise as part of your ADHD treatment plan and mental health regimen. You wouldn’t miss a call with your therapist, so make your appointments with yourself equally as important.
- Make exercise fun and enjoyable by reframing what you consider a workout.
- Create structure in your days by putting your walking shoes by the front door or adopting a dog.
Exercise transformed my life, and I know without a shadow of a doubt, it can transform yours too. So get moving today.