Three Basic Ways to Improve Your Life with ADHD
- Sleep 2. Exercise 3. Get Outdoors
Help Number Two — Exercise.
Our son Duane had ADHD and learning disabilities. He was extremely smart but couldn’t actually function. The only thing he was good at was theater, certainly not sports. But – he finally discovered cross-country running. He didn’t need to cooperate with anyone, learn any rules or plays, or be organized – all he had to do was run.
He was not a star, but he did well, for the first time in anything except theater. It was a real help to him in many ways.
The Dirty Word
Exercise is a dirty word to many people, but there are ways to change that:
Find something you are good at, enjoy, or at least isn’t an abhorrent chore. Then you’ll be able to stick with it.
Don’t let it be an unpleasant ordeal. Exercise with music, or TV, or a friend, or in a nice setting. If you dislike it, don’t do it. I never do push ups – hate them.
Make a schedule (ie structure). Then that is a priority – “Sorry, I can’t do it Wednesday morning; that’s my exercise time.”
Set goals to challenge yourself. Make them reasonable, and achievable. Use small steps.
It is advised to do moderate exercise at least 30 minutes a day at least 5 times a week. But, anything is better than nothing. Do what you can.
Also, be sneaky. In addition to your regularly scheduled sessions, find occasions to walk, climb stairs, or take a two-minute break and do stretches and isometrics.
You can do cardio-endurance exercises every day, though I don’t recommend it (jogging, walking, treadmill)’ but strength exercise need to be done on alternate days, to give muscles a chance to recover. Try HIT – high intensity training. You get the same benefit in less time spent. Avoid buying expensive equipment or member ships – you’re just setting yourself up for defeat. Stay on your schedule but maybe schedule different programs for variation. When you miss or skip or don’t do well, avoid judging yourself. Just start again. Keep records to give yourself positive feedback.
Benefits of Exercise:
Exercise will make your brain function better and you’ll function with your ADHD better. That’s the main point here. But there are so many benefits, in addition to the obvious general health benefits: Good treatment for depression, anxiety or stress; improves self-esteem, reduces risk of Alzheimer’s.
Questions O the Day:
- Can you add some tips about exercising for the benefit of our tribe here?
- Did you notice all the applications of ADHD strategies in the above post?