Feed Your ADHD Brain – With Vigorous Exercise

Thanks again to my friend Alan Brown of ADD Crusher fame for another engaging guest post. If you haven’t yet checked out the resources on his website, take some time after reading this post to pop over there … his ADD resources are fantastic, especially if you want natural, entertaining and unique ways to get on top of your own challenges!

As we’re heading back to school or regularly scheduled work, let’s take another moment to ponder our ADHD brain and its particular back-to-school/work needs. (I say “another” moment, because in a recent blog at, I laid out the first of what will be three treatises on Feeding Your ADHD Brain — that first installment having been about diet.)

This second round will cover an equally important input to our cranial cohesiveness – exercise. What the heck does exercise have to do with your brain health? Let alone your ADD symptoms? Tons. Hear this…

Harvard doc John Ratey says, “Exercise stimulates a brain chemical that acts like Miracle-Grow for the brain.” Indeed, when your blood is pumping real good and sweat is drenching your Justin Beiber t-shirt, your brain is cranking out ADD-crushing chemicals.

We hear a lot about the importance of getting in shape generally. But for ADDers, it’s not just physical fitness that’s at stake: there is conclusive proof – and Ratey is just one of many experts churning out this proof – that vigorous exercise helps with mental acuity, stamina and focus – all things we ADDers are often short on.


Want More Science-Based Inspiration on Perspiration? 

Research increasingly tells us that exercise isn’t only an effective flab-buster and focus-booster — it’s a remedy for just about any health issue you might face: insomnia, anxiety, back pain — even hot flashes (I’m just sayin’) and plenty more. “When it comes to preventing health problems, exercise is one of the best medicines we have,” says Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.


That’s the Why. Here’s Some How

Now, assuming you’re sold on the benefits of exercise as an alternative ADHD remedy and then some (and you should be!), here are some tips for getting more of it and the right kind…


  • Any exercise is great, but you only benefit from VIGOROUS exercise: e.g., at least 20 minutes of cardio.
  • If you’re already getting some exercise during the day or in the evening, consider moving your workout to the morning. Gregory Flores of the American Council on Exercise says, “morning exercisers tend not to have midmorning slumps and are sharper mentally than if they hadn’t exercised.” This is in part because morning workouts trigger more endorphins and suppress more stress hormones.
  • For the most robust brain health, it’s probably advisable to incorporate both aerobic and resistance training, two recent studies in people and animals suggest.


And now that you have reasons and best ways to exercise, there are probably a convenient bundle of reasons (um, excuses?) why you can’t start with a new or improved exercise regimen. No time? Can’t afford gym membership? Gym’s too far away? Just plain hate it? You can crush each and every one of these the moment you step back get fed up with these excuses.


Fire Up Your Emotions to Get Into Motion

Studies tell us that having an emotional incentive works best as motivational fuel to get you off your butt – especially an ADHD-addled butt. So get emotional about these emotionally-charged benefits: guard against many types of cancer…boost metabolism…improve sleep…give you more energy…improve your mood…look more attractive…slow the effects of aging…be around longer for your kids and grandkids. As much as we dislike exercise, how can we look at this list of benefits and argue that the pain isn’t worth that gain?



In the third installment of this Feed Your ADHD Brain trilogy, I’ll talk about the importance of the final brain feeder: Sleeeeeep! Check it out here at at Tara MicGillicuddy’s Living With ADD blog.


Stay tuned. And stay healthy…

alan brown add crusher An executive and entrepreneur, Alan was  diagnosed as an adult, but found it difficult to  learn coping strategies from books – so he  developed his own mess-to-success strategies.  The resulting 10 “Ways” comprise the ADD  Crusher™ approach — interactive, engaging  videos and tools for ADHD adults seeking greater  life fulfillment. If this blog post was of even  modest interest to you…then you’ll go freakin’ crazy for Alan’s ADD Crusher™ Videos & Tools. Money back, guaranteed.