How ADHD Affects Fitness

ADHD is a disorder that affects people in just about every area of their life. It affects behavior, brain functioning, mental performance, and fitness level. ADHD has both negative and positive effects on exercise, weight and physical health that combine in a different way for each individual.

The Effects of ADHD on Exercise Plans

As you may know if you’ve ever followed an exercise plan, it requires focus and dedication. Unfortunately, if you suffer from ADHD, you also know that those attributes can be very hard to come by. Those with ADHD may find it hard to stick to a regular exercise plan and may actually be constantly distracted by new or different exercise options. While variety in an exercise plan is a good thing, it is not good to be constantly changing plans without sticking to one plan for any amount of time. Therefore, those with ADHD may see slower gains in fitness than those without.

The Effects of ADHD on Diet Plans

Another interesting fact to consider is that studies have demonstrated a link between obesity and ADHD. This arose due to curiosity about certain obese dieters’ difficulty in sticking to a diet plan, eating at regular times and maintaining a food log. The research that followed showed that while ADHD occurs in about 4% of the adult population, in the study it occurred in over 25% of obese patients.

This means that if you have ADHD, you may already be predisposed to obesity. Working with your doctor on a medication regimen, exercise routine and diet plan to combat the risks of obesity is the most efficient way to stay healthy and fit despite your ADHD.

How ADHD Can Positively Affect Fitness

Many people who have ADHD report that it actually helps them maintain a high level of fitness, rather than hindering their fitness goals. You may feel that ADHD gives you lots of energy. Even if you feel that the energy goes in too many different directions, expending that amount of energy on a constant basis is good for your physical health. A side effect of ADHD is the ability to understand things in ways that others don’t. Where others may see a problem or boundary in a fitness plan, those who have ADHD may see how it works for them instead of against them. The same holds true for problem solving. When you come up to a problem in your fitness plan, you may be more able to see a solution than someone without ADHD. This is because of the speed at which your brain works and the different manner in which it processes problems.

If you have ADHD, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t be fit or that you will be fighting a losing battle in trying to be healthy. In fact, you can use your ADHD to help you. Work with your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses, and your fitness level will benefit.


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