How Exercise Can Help With Adult ADHD: Brain Chemistry and More

When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals called neurotransmitters, including dopamine, which helps with attention and clear thinking. People with ADHD often have less dopamine than usual in their brain.

The stimulant medicines that are often used to treat adult ADHDwork by increasing the availability of dopamine in the brain. So it makes sense that a workout can have many of the same effects as stimulant drugs.

Fitness can have the following benefits for adults with ADHD:

  • Ease stress and anxiety.
  • Improve impulse control and reduce compulsive behavior.
  • Enhance working memory.
  • Improve executive function. That’s the set of skills needed to plan, organize, and remember details.
  • Increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. That’s a protein involved in learning and memory. It’s in short supply in people with ADHD.

One of the biggest benefits of physical exercise is the positivist exertion it places on the brain. Just like your muscles, the brain responds positively to physical labor. And studies have shown that this has a tremendous effect on our ability to focus and concentrate for long periods of time.

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1 year 4 months ago

I was diagnosed with ADHD prescribed with Ritalin. I thought it would make things better. It did not. It was like I was given a placebo. I asked for a second opinion and the next doctor suggested cleaning up my diet and exercising to tax the brain in a positive way. These 2 have done more than Ritalin ever had and I have stopped my prescription