The ADHD symptom relief that comes from working out will only lasts for a few hours according to experts, but oh what an amazing time it is!
ADHD does not go away over time, we know this, the more noticeable symptoms can wain one day or week and present themselves more prominently the next. Finding new approaches and techniques for managing your symptoms is an ever lasting journey and exercise might be a good first step (no pun intended, although we are writing this and making the conscious decision to leave it in).
Did you know that the prevalence of ADHD in elite sports is higher than the general population? Yeah, by about 20% or so!
“ADHD may be more common in elite athletes than in the general population, since children with ADHD may be drawn to sport due to the positive reinforcing and attentional activating effects of physical activity,” Dr. Han
What that tells us here at Brili is that these elite ADHD athletes are tapping into something that we should all get on board with and, no, we do not mean training like the Olympian Simon Biles. What we ARE talking about is a little physical activity worked into your routines each day!
"...scientists have found that moderate to intense exercise actually provokes changes in many of the same neurochemicals and brain structures as popular prescription ADHD medications." - Michael Lara, MD
WOW, that is a powerful statement right there. It has been scientifically proven that whenever you participate in physical activity, your brain releases neurotransmitters, like norepinephrine and dopamine, the very ones linked to our brains attention system. A deficiency of these very neurotransmitters produced is linked to ADHD and it's symptoms.
If you did not already know, now you know! Physical activity can help you focus, during your workout and after. Seems like a win win, follow the dopamine!
What does that look like? How much should I do?
In the case of the amount you should actually begin working out each day, you know what is best. Just know that as you begin, there is no such thing as too little.
Gage your experience level and how long it has been since you last worked out on a regular basis so you can start with the lowest bar. A 5 - 10 minute work out each day before you head off to work or school can make a world of difference. A quick search on YouTube or Google will give you a hundred different options to choose from. You can always ramp it up as you become more comfortable.
Another great way to begin regular physical activity in you life that tends to be even more helpful and most importantly fun for the ADHD brain is more complex sports. Sports that require more complex movement and hand-eye coordination. So, try joining a club or heading to the park every once and awhile to try out something new.
At the end of the day, the answer to how much exercise you should do? Is definitely however much you will do!
When should you work-out?
When you will most often actually do it, is when you should plan to do it! If you are not notoriously a morning person, waking up and doing a 15 minute workout right away is 10x harder to start than if you just waited 30 mins to an hour.
In your Brili routines it could be beneficial to experiment by having your workout scheduled for different times each day throughout the week. For example, try throwing a workout in the middle of your morning routines on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and the beginning of an evening routine on Tuesday/ Thursday/Saturday. This experimentation over the course of a week or two should help you answer two questions...
- When you are most likely to actually work out?
- When has it been most beneficial for your focus and/or productivity?