To the average adult with ADHD exercise takes a back seat to almost all other activities. Work, family and friends, errands, sleep and even housework! These activities are important, however so is exercise. Exercise not only helps the longevity of your body, but it helps reduce some of the negative effects of ADHD too. For example, exercise improves your attention, mental focus, memory, mental stamina and allows you to expend pent up energy. Dr Hallowells says “Exercise stimulates epinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, like meds. So exercising is like taking meds for ADHD in a holistic, natural way”.
So what can you do to make sure exercise is part of your daily life? As well as choosing a form of exercise that is fun for you and one that is convenient, a powerful way is to look to those people who you admire and are inspired by. Perhaps your favourite sports personality or someone who you know personally. There is one particular example of someone we all know who I find very inspiring and that is Barack Obama.
On the 4th of November 2008, the eyes of the world were on America and its election day. Barack Obama made history by becoming the first African American president. His political views, beliefs and sincerity resonated with millions worldwide. It was a huge day for him and his young family. Over two years of hard work on the campaign trail culminated on this day. We can only imagine the intense emotions he must have felt. That evening when the results were official, he stood in front of 125,000 people in Chicago and gave a speech that brought people to tears and gave people goose bumps all around the world. I am guessing he didn’t get much sleep that night.
Do you know what Barack did around 6 am the morning of the 5th of November? After this momentous day? He went to the gym. Then he put on a suit and started his day.
Now if anyone could excuse themselves from a visit to the gym that day, it would have been Barack Obama. Some thoughts that might have popped into his mind: I am too tired, too busy, I have just been voted the next president of the United States! Even if those excuses did come to his mind, he went to the gym anyway.
What can you do to make sure you exercise regularly?
- Make exercise part of your daily routine so that it would be just as hard not to exercise as not brush your teeth at night.
- Think of who inspires you to exercise and use them as a motivation to get you moving.
- Give yourself a healthy reward after you exercise.
- Next time an excuse pops into your head about not exercising, think of Barack.
- Notice and enjoy the benefits that exercise has on your ADHD.