Exercise – Finding motivation and holding on to it

Do you have great plans and training programs that you never get around to try? Do you know that getting out on a run would be SO good for you, but you can’t get yourself out through the door? Do you struggle with finding any time for yourself at all and to ruin that exercise seems too masochistic, even for you? You are not alone! This week’s blog is about the ADHD-curse of not being able to do anything in moderation, not even exercise. But maybe you are willing to try some of the lifehacks that our Letterlife users share?

Needless to say, physical activity is good for both the body and the brain; research have consistently demonstrated this and its of course totally in line with common sense. For ADHD:ers exercise has been shown to be extra beneficial and that why it’s also extra unfair that its so extra hard to establish and maintain healthy routines when you have ADHD. Did you know that for ADHD it’s both more common to exercise too much and too little?

So, is it even worth trying? Well yes of course! Because if you manage to exercise with moderation over time, you greatly enhance your resilience to stress, get better at regulating your emotions, and reduce the risks of overall mental health and physical problems. The first good thing is that it doesn’t matter at all what type of exercise you choose. There’s no evidence that you must go to the gym, use machines, join groups, or follow any specific workout program. The most important factor is to make sure that you can follow through with your routine.

And another thing with exercise is that we tend to forget that we don’t need that much of it as we might think (or as it seems when we hear wellness gurus preach or read training blogs). The biggest threat to healthy routines may actually be setting the bar too high, going out too hard, and either getting injured or losing motivation to maintain new habits. You don’t have to go to the gym or jog if you don’t enjoy it. It’s more important to establish consistency. So, try to find reasonable and enjoyable ways to be physically active in your daily life. And KEEP IT SIMPLE! Everything counts, and the best exercise is the one that happens and that you can stick with over time. So don’t set your expectations too high, start small to improve your chances of maintaining routines over time.

Did you know that physical activity can be particularly effective during high-stress periods or when you experience anxiety? Because when you increase your heart rate and blood pressure, your brain senses that it’s “keeping the same pace the body”. In a way you can trick your brain into believing that it is running from or escaping an imaginary threat. Exercise has momentarily as well as long-lasting anxiety-reducing effects and it’s easier to think clearly and make wiser decisions after exercising. Also, both the body and the brain need to be tired to relax and fall asleep in the evening.

Let’s listen to some of our Letterlife beta users some lifehacks that has worked miracles for them. Maybe there is something in it for you as well?

Keep it close!

Always have your gym bag packed and bring it with you wherever you go. Is there anything more annoying than getting a chance to squeeze in a session and don’t have the equipment? Think like a Volvo Ocean Race Sailor and keep the bag to the bare minimum, to manage to carry it around!

Keep it simple!

Don’t overdo it. it doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do if your pulse and breathing rise a little. It’s not better to go to the gym than to take a run or a walk with your dog in the woods. Join groups if you like that or keep it to yourself if that’s how you roll.

Keep it scheduled! 

Allocate time for exercise in your schedule, in the same way that you plan for having breakfast or and engage in activities that you know have a good chance of actually happening. Morning exercise stabilizes your energy levels throughout the day and makes it easier to sleep so is it possible to fit it in early in the day?

And remember that the mistake nearly everyone makes when it comes to exercise is to focus on how awkward the actual workout will be. Try instead to imagine how you will feel AFTER your workout. In fact, it’s just that little dopamine boost that your thought provides that might get you over the hump and on your way.

Let us know what you think about this blog, and remember… Keep moving!

/Team Letterlife

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