ADHD Benefits of Exercise

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Published: 06th February 2017
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Exercise has many health benefits. It helps us keep our body fat down, keeps our hearth healthy, helps alleviate stress, and many more benefits. Exercise is not just necessary for staying in shape. There are also many ADHD benefits of exercise.

ADHD benefits of exercise on the brain
Exercise can help keep both our body and brain in shape. ADHD's symptoms are caused by different parts of the brain releasing different levels of neurotransmitters. Dopamine is one of these transmitters. Stimulant medications work by increasing dopamine production. Exercise also causes our brain to release dopamine.

ADHD benefits of exercise on stress
Stress is not only a part of daily life. It also can be debilitating. Stress can cause stress on our hearts, make it hard to think, because depression and places added stress on our brains. Stress affects how our brains release chemicals. Exercise helps to alleviate stress. It gives us time to unwind from the day. It allows us to clear our minds. It helps to alleviate anxiety.

ADHD benefits of exercise improve executive functions
Executive functions are critical to controlling our ADHD symptoms. Executive brain functions control our ability to plan, organize, and remember details. Executive functions are one of the areas our ADHD causes us to have problems with. Guiney states, "…when considered across the age groups, ample evidence indicates that regular engagement in aerobic exercise can provide a simple means for healthy people to optimize a range of executive functions." (Guiney, 2013, PubMed.gov)

ADHD benefits of exercise improve working memory
Working memory is the part of our memory that we use every day. It is what allows you to remember that grocery list your wife just gave you. ADHD already puts us at a disadvantage with our working memory. Exercise helps us focus and increases chemicals in the brain. The increased focus and chemicals helps our working memory.

You don't have to run a marathon
It is not necessary to run 20 miles a day to see the ADHD benefits of exercise. You can simply start by walking for 30 minutes a day. Repeat this four times a week and you will have a great start. If you don't enjoy walking there are many other types of exercise including:
• Team Sports
• Walking with friends or in a group
• Tae Kwon Do
• Karate
• Ballet
• Gymnastics
The importance is that you enjoy the exercise. If you do not enjoy it then you will not stick with it.

Exercise is critical for a healthy life. It is even more crucial for controlling our ADHD. It helps our working memory which helps us to keep from forgetting tasks. It increases our ability to manage our time, organize our tasks, and focus. Increasing our exercise and downplaying our challenges of ADHD helps us in many ways. It can help with our relationships at work and home. It can help us spend more quality time with our children. It can help us achieve our goals. So, get up of the couch and get some exercise.

References
Guiney and Machado, 2013, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations retrieved on May 13, 2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23229442

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