Exercise and ADHD

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Last night I was on Twitter catching up with my friends. One of them asked where I’d been, since she hadn’t heard from me for a while.

I explained to her that I had been having a rough time lately, with my depression getting worse. She told me that one of the things that helps her with both anxiety and depression is exercise.

Now I know that. I think I even wrote about it the other day when I talked about depression and ADHD. But knowing exercise can help and actually doing it are two different things.

Lucky for me, my friend suggested that we both agree to exercise today and then check in with each other when we were done. I agreed right away.

So, first thing this morning, I got my gym clothes on and grabbed a bottle of water and headed to the gym. I ended up on the bike cause all the treadmills were taken, and then on top of it, my tv didn’t work. I don’t mind the treadmill, but the bike bores me to tears.

I decided to tough it out as long as I could (15 minutes), and I noticed something. I spent some of the time just looking around and sort of daydreaming, and some of it trying to brain storm new ideas for ADD Moms. The one thing I didn’t do was worry – about anything – and I am really good at worrying. My mother was a world champion worrier and I come in a close second.

Going to the gym this morning was the best thing I’ve done in a while. I felt good when I left (I spent 15 minutes on the treadmill, too), and I got so much done today! My thinking is clearer and I’m in a better mood. That’s the only motivation I need to keep doing it.

Studies have shown that what I experienced today is not unusual. Exercise does improve clarity of thought when you have Attention Deficit Disorder, and it helps elevate your mood if you’re depressed.

You don’t have to join a gym like I did, either. My friend took a walk around her neighborhood, and that’s just as good, if not better. I don’t have any proof, but I think that time spent outdoors is also beneficial to people with ADHD.

Why don’t you join me tomorrow and plan some exercise into your day? Then we’ll both feel better.

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of Lacyestelle.com and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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9 Responses

  1. A ha! So you did exercise today after all. Bravo! I was over here reading your ADHD and anxiety article. It’s nice to see we are both on the same page… I’ve also been writing about the benefits of excercise and ADHD, as well as anxiety and ADHD over at the Edge Foundation blog. Hope you’ll stop by sometime and leave a comment to let me know you were there! http://www.edgefoundation.org/blog.

  2. Hello, we are making an awareness raising film for BBC in the UK on teenagers with ADHD. Does anyone know any teens in the UK suffering from ADHD in the UK that I could speak to? Thanks, Selina

  3. Peggy – Great minds think alike 🙂 I will definitely stop by and visit more often.

    Selina – I don’t know of anyone, but I’ll be glad to put the word out.

  4. Boy did you write this at the perfect time! Since being diagnosed with ADHD last September I started an exercise program that helped me lose 30lbs but the past two weeks I have been slacking on my healthy eating and exercising.Just this morning I realized it was because I was bored. I get bored very easily but when I do work out I always feel better. Especially with my anxiety. After reading your post I popped in my Yoga for Weight Loss DVD and now feel 10 times better. Thanks again for reminding me to take care of myself!

  5. Yay! I love it when that happens!

    I did yoga the other day and noticed that while my muscles loved it, it did nothing for my depression. Is Yoga for Weight Loss different?

    I get bored easily, too. I’m sure it’s connected to my ADHD. That’s why I like having a tv at each exercise station at our gym.