Exercise and ADHD

Did you know that exercise has been proven to have positive effects on ADHD symptoms? It’s been proven by research scientists.

Exercise, especially cardio – that gets the heart pumping – has been shown to elevate the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These chemicals monitor external stimuli and our responses to them. Mood, emotions, movement and how well you are able to think all are affected by the levels of these two in your brain.

Low levels of dopamine and norepinephrine can cause difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and even depression.

Exercise also has a positive effect on the frontal cortex of the brain. This is where executive functioning takes place: making decisions, taking action, keeping track of several things, and keeping track of time, too. A large majority of people with ADHD have problems with executive function.

Exercise serves to stimulate that part of the brain, making executive functioning more effective.

Exercise can also improve your mood and lower stress, as well as improve your brain’s ability to function more effectively and process information better. The benefits of a good workout can sometimes last more than a day.

Don’t assume that you have to join a gym to get the benefits of exercise for your ADHD brain. You can walk around the house (briskly), up and down the stairs, or around the mall or your neighborhood. You can join a softball team or play in the backyard with the kids or your dog.

Getting yourself outdoors while you exercise gives you even more benefits. In addition to all that fresh air, being outdoors in nature has also been proven to benefit ADHD symptoms.

So what are you waiting for? Spring is here and the sun is shining. Get outside and do yourself and your ADHD some good!

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About Brenda Nicholson

I am an ADHD Expert, Coach, and Consultant. I want you to learn how to celebrate your life with ADHD too.

Comments

  1. Nicole Walker says:

    I am writing an essay on this topic. I wanted to know more information about “Does exercise helps people with ADHD focus better and alleviate impulsive tendencies?” Do you know of any credible sources I could get this information from?

  2. Nicole – check out ADDitude Magazine’s website and Dr. Ed Hallowell for sources.

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