ADHD and Exercise: Find Your Key to Motivation

by | May 20, 2011 | ADHD Symptom Control | 0 comments

02h75832Have you lost your key? The key to unlocking your motivation to exercise? Motivating yourself to exercise with Adult ADHD isn’t rocket science, but you do have to outsmart your resistance. Dana to the rescue! I’m here with my keyring of exercise motivators; real life ADHD Success stories about what gets me and my clients up and moving.

Craving more insight about ADHD and exercise? Take a peek at my recent blog posts: Why ADHD Adults Don’t Exercise and Why Exercise Helps Manage ADHD Symptoms.

My years of experience in motivating my ADHD coaching clients to exercise has taught me an important lesson: They won’t exercise until you find their key. We can (and have when I was a less experienced coach) spend oodles of time on coaching calls planning how a client will go to the gym, yet until we find the key to unlock their motivator, it “just ain’t gonna” happen. (I do know that’s incorrect grammar. Are you surprised I’m a rule breaker?)

Do you have trouble exercising? Read through this list of my clients’ favorite exercise motivators and see if one sparks your interest. Perhaps you’re trying to force your exercise program instead of finding one you’re naturally pulled toward.

Favorite ADD / ADHD Exercise Motivators

(Note: Client confidentiality rules the day. All these names are fake.)

Goal Motivated – Katie, a successful business owner, is incredibly goal oriented so it’s natural she’s a triathelete. With her next triathalon in sight she is more apt to fit visits to the gym into her hectic schedule. The boredom of working out on the machines at the gym doesn’t phase her. Her big goal pulls her forward. Katie’s key is having a triathalon on her calendar.

Time of Day Motivated – The only time Terry will exercise is early in the morning. Try as she might, she can’t exercise any other time of day. Except Terry wasn’t going to bed early enough. To unlock Terry’s exercise motivator we shook up her bedtime routine. Now she gets up early enough for a jog before work.

Socially Motivated – This is my key. The only exercise I’ve consistently stuck to over the years is going to Curves. Frankly, the workout itself bores me. My draw is the social connection. My buddies and I yak and solve the world’s problems while we work the circuit. I also go to a weekly yoga session at a neighbor’s house. I like the yoga a lot, but my real draw is seeing my girlfriends.

Interest Motivated – Many of my ADHD Coaching clients fall into this category. They become passionate about a type of exercise and dive in full force. Tess is crazy about yoga. It focuses and calms her busy brain. She doesn’t miss a class. Tom finds mental and physical strength in martial arts and is becoming a Tai Chi Master.

Appointment Motivated – Jim is my schedule guy. Put an exercise class on his calendar and he is there. Jim takes tennis lessons and looks forward to joining a tennis league. Jim often misses going to the gym but he never misses his tennis appointment.

Getting motivated to exercise if you have adult ADHD is easier if you don’t have to pick the lock each time you suit up. Outsmart your resistance. What key naturally pulls you into an active lifestyle?


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