Exercise and ADHD

Workout of the Day--October 22, 2015

Surprise!! I'm not telling you. Why? Because if it was posted, no one in their right mind would show up. Don't worry. We will scale for all levels and you will be a better athlete for showing up. 

 
 Margie loves deadlifts.

Margie loves deadlifts.

 

Exercise and ADHD

As a society, we are quick to embrace a pharmaceutical solution to any and all ailments. After all, taking a pill is far easier than doing the hard work to address why an ailment is occurring or digging in to the root cause. This is a short-sided solution as often the pharmaceutical is merely masking symptoms. Sometimes, the medication has side effects that are pretty negative in their own way. Now, please don't characterize me as a hater of medications or western medicine in general. I am not. In fact, I worked as a nurse for many years and am a strong supporter on both counts. It's just that sometimes I think we use medication as the default when there are better options available to us. Often those options involve better nutrition and more exercise. Both of which are significantly more challenging than swallowing a pill, but bring along many additional benefits rather than negative side effects.

Such is the case with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Ritalin, the most commonly prescribed medication for ADHD. Let me start by saying that there is absolutely no judgement from this corner toward families that have chosen to use Ritalin to control their children's ADHD. As a parent, I completely understand the desire to use every tool within your grasp to help your kids be successful when they are struggling. We have certainly been there. This post and article are intended only to demonstrate the far-reaching benefits of exercise beyond just looking good and feeling healthier.

So with that disclaimer, I want to share an article that was sent my way that I found fascinating. This is not the typical scientific journal that I sometimes link to in blog posts. It is an account of a real person's life and how that life was changed because of exercise. (Okay, fine. There is some science and research in there too, but it is a good read.) It is the story of a kid's (and his family's) struggle with ADHD. It details the initial relief found through medicating which was ultimately outweighed by negative side effects. Read the article here from Bicycling Magazine to learn more about how riding his bike became the treatment for his ADHD and launched his cycling career. Wouldn't it be great if exercise became the treatment of choice for ADHD? I know, probably unlikely. But the more we talk about it, the more it gains traction as a viable alternative.