Helping Your ADHD with Exercise

by on February 8th, 2012 at 7:00 am

A new study revealed that exercise can be beneficial for people with ADHD. When exercising, your brain releases dopamine and serotonin, which are known to be low in children and adults with ADHD. Dopamine and serotonin are chemicals released in the brain that make us feel “good”. These chemicals regulate things such as mood, anger, and attention. Exercise also helps with sleep patterns and alertness, which are both know problems associated with ADHD.  Lastly, exercise calms the mind and reduces the risk of depression, which is known to accompany ADHD in many cases. While all this news may sounds amazing, it can be difficult for someone with ADHD to adhere to a workout schedule. However it is possible, once you are in a routine of working out, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences.

Here are some tips on sticking with your workout routine.

  • Set reasonable goals - This rule goes for anyone with or without ADHD. If you set your goals too high, chances are you will become discouraged and quit. Start by saying to yourself “I will work out 10 minutes a day” and gradually increase your workout over time.
  • Stick with it for 30 days - If you stick with the routine for at least 30 days, chances are it will become habit. The beginning is always the hardest; once you have worked out for a month you will start to crave it.
  • Change up your routine – Don’t do the same exercise every day; switch up your routine. If you don’t it will get boring. If you lift weights one day, go for a jog the next. This will help keep the workout interesting.
  • Break up your workout - If you want to work out for an hour, break it up into two 30 minute sessions. This will make your workout more manageable and easier to complete.
  • Try finding an exercise partner – This will make working out much more enjoyable, and will help you stay motivated.

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