Why are Sport and Exercise Crucial for ADHD Symptom Control?


Once the novelty of a new activity wears off, it can be difficult to keep up that initial motivation. ADHD can make it tough to develop a fitness routine but with sport and exercise, you will see more benefits the longer you keep doing it, so it’s important not to give up too soon. This is a particular problem if you have ADHD, and get bored quickly. Here are some tips to help you remain interested in new activities:

  • Make sure you choose a sport you enjoy. It will help you to avoid procrastination if you have a genuine interest and look forward to your exercise.
  • Exercise in the morning before taking your medication. This allows you to fully benefit from all the mood-boosting chemicals surging through your body and you’ll feel their full benefit.
  • Pay any fees in advance. You’re much more likely to do something you’ve already paid for than something you do on a pay-as-you-go basis.
  • Ask someone you know to come with you or be your fitness buddy. It’s much better if you have someone with whom you can share your exercise highs and lows.
  • You can exercise indoors or outdoors but if you can, go outside as being outdoors is even more beneficial for an ADHD brain.
  • Don’t limit yourself to just one sport and have an indoor alternative you can do if the weather lets you down.
  • Set a goal that is realistic for you e.g. 4 hours a week of exercise for 10 weeks. Log your achievements and reward yourself when you reach your goal.
  • Use technology like alarms and phone reminders to tell you to exercise.
  • Get your exercise clothing or equipment ready in advance. This will prompt you to use it.
  • Recognise when you’ve had enough. There’s no point in continuing something if you know it isn’t for you. If you have had enough of doing a certain sport or activity, then stop doing it. Just make sure you have something else lined up to take its place first.

It goes without saying that exercise is hard work, but for someone with ADHD, the mental and physical benefits it brings make it worthwhile. It’s important to remember that high-impact sports do not appeal to everyone and the main goal here is being active. Even going for a walk can make a significant difference. The key is to find a form of exercise that suits your lifestyle and to do it regularly.

Exercise alone is not sufficient to manage ADHD symptoms. The best way to manage your symptoms is through specifically prescribed medication and specialist treatment. Exercise should never be used as a substitute for other treatments.

To find out more about our private ADHD assessments and our different ADHD treatments and coaching plans, please contact us at The ADHD Centre on 0800 061 4276 or via [email protected].

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