New Girl On The Block :) (Exercise)

Hi Everybody!

Really happy to be here. Relieved this forum exists!. I am newly diagnosed (mid-30’s gal) and summer so far has been an emotional rollercoaster. :expressionless: I’m getting all the help I can find; the process takes time. Today’s my first day joining this community - you can call me FitnessMunkie. :slight_smile:

I am by no means a “fitness junkie” ~ (complete opposite actually lol) but I chose the name as an ode to my new lifestyle. The name FitnessMunkie is a reminder to myself to exercise daily no matter what. This time its not for weight loss, the dream six pack abs or the aesthetic; but to take care of my mental/emotional well-being! We adhd’ers are so hard on ourselves. We are so ambitious on the inside. I know for me, I set goals too high and then crash emotionally when I can’t stay consistent (because of my add symptoms). Aiming too high was not the best for my mental health.

A few days ago I woke up very depressed, crying, angry, hopeless, felt alone, misunderstood, frustrated that meds weren’t working…I knew I had to do something to get out of the dark hole. I forced myself to go to the gym. I was miserable the whole time, but I told myself, “At least do the elliptical for 30min, even if you’re furious on the inside.” I wasn’t any happier after I was done - but at least I could say I got out of bed. Not accepting my adhd debilitated me; so I forced myself to accept it and started moving. It was either that or stay miserable.

I realized in the last 48 hours just how important exercise is for add’ers.
My add counsellor kept telling me its the #1 most important thing…but I used the excuse that “my meds suck” and I can’t for the life of me, get motivated. While its true we’re still doing trial & error…I realized I have to ‘gym’ even if I don’t like it; because eventually it’ll make my brain stronger.

Today was day 2: I exercised for 75min. I put an “X” on my calendar by the door and told myself, “Don’t break that chain.” :slight_smile:

This is my daily routine:

  • Wake up, brush teeth, put on my gym clothes, grab water bottle, speed walk to gym.

  • Elliptical for 15min. Heart rate up with mild sweat. 9/10 I end up staying 30 min elliptical, and 30 min arms, back weights. I do not go hard like a freak! lol. I just do my best.

  • Go home: Take Med, Omega’s, draw “X” on calendar, reward: coffee! Then I can do whatever I want. ie. check texts, shower/protein bar, get to work!

  • Endorphins last for 2 hours after a workout which means I do the most important task first. (Work on editing, quick!)

  • By 6pm I halt working. I ACCEPT that my body/brain will start to wind down. I can eat dinner, clean, podcast before bed.

I might not have the right meds yet, and therapy results might take months to see change. Its going to take time to get used to my new life.

At least today, I officially Surrender & ACCEPT that normal means exercise daily. Brain/body care is the most important before any other goal. If I axe that, all the other areas of my life will flounder.

Our responsibility as an ADHD Brain is to make it strong.

  • The memory-hippocampus enlarges with every workout.

  • Proteins get released in the brain.

  • Brand new neuropathways build.

  • Dopamine/Endorphins/Serotinon release alleviates pain, stress, depression and makes us happier.

  • Norepinephrine (attention, focus, motivation, perception)

As soon as I accepted exercise is a positive scientific fact; I dropped all my old negative beliefs around exercise. Its not a chore or a burden; its just routine task humans need to turn on our ‘human computer’. The same way we boot up our laptops to watch YouTube – our brains “power button” is exercise.

Sleep is the “shut down” button Zzz… :slight_smile:

Thank you every one for reading, wishing you a happy week ahead!

Wendy Susuki on fitness


Welcome to the forum! Hope you enjoy your stay and make some new friends.


Welcome welcome! I love your routine and your attitude!

I officially Surrender & ACCEPT that normal means exercise daily

I have to try and remember that! Your human computer analogy reminds me of something I read a long time ago, called “the Cyborg Manifesto”. Just pulling a line from its wikipedia page: “The cyborg would not recognize the Garden of Eden; it is not made of mud and cannot dream of returning to dust” We Brains can’t just wake up, get dressed, and go to work or whatever. We have to boot ourselves up with no SSD!

Also speaking of cyborgs, have you seen the Korean movie I’m a Cyborg But That’s Ok? I found it at the library, and ended up really liking it! (Though this is a digression and the movie doesn’t have anything to do with ADHD)

Haha that’s kind of my approach to exercise too. Step one is to just get on the treadmill and turn it on. Then see how it goes :slight_smile:

Anyway nice to meet you!


Welcome :slight_smile:
I agree about the importance of exercise for mental health, but I generally have an awful time making it happen for all the same reasons that I need to do it. It’s an ongoing quest.

I couldn’t resist the tangent, because I have seen that movie and really liked it, but generally have a hard time convincing other people that they should watch it.


I am soooo worn out thinking about doing all of that!!! Fair play :clap:

I have done zero exercise for over a year and a half…forced myself Saturday morning to go run a 5k run with hundreds of people!

Shattered still now but helped a lot feeling i achieved something


All right! That’s awesome that 1) you know of the movie 2) you watched it and 3) you liked it! Haha I guess it might be kind of niche. But talking about it today is making me want to watch it again. I just need to find a dvd player!

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Well, you blew me away. Welcome to the tribe!

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Congrats and welcome!

I love that you’re so onto this exercise thing, I’m on a similar journey myself - getting those mental gains!

Thanks for sharing, and wishing you all the good vibes and motivation for this awesome journey you’re on :star_struck:

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Thank u!

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Thank you so much Heather :slight_smile:

Thats wonderful! Yes, exercise is somehow the magic button to getting my day started. Just a 20 min sweat on the elliptical and 7 minutes of weights boosts my energy and releases happy chemicals. That energy lasts long enough to get thru my to-do list.

Im at day 17 since joining the gym Sept 7th.

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I was like that my whole life. I was exercising a lot…followed by months of long abstinences. Only recently did I realize I can’t hyperfocus and burnout anymore. Its became unmanageable for me and it lowered my self-esteem. :frowning:

Once I got diagnosed with adhd, found the right med. and started doing smaller-bite-sized pieces. Then it felt more sane and manageable! No more burnout.

Bite sized routine is now: 20 min sweat on the elliptical and 7 minutes of weights. The goal is not to get fit or lose weight; but to “power up the brain” boost my energy and releases happy chemicals. That energy lasts long enough to get thru my to-do list.

Daily gym (to manage my adhd symptoms) is possible because its less than an hour of my day. Im in/out so fast. If I skip a day, I get less done. The gym for me is now my “power button.”

Im at day 17 since joining the gym Sept 7th.
I allowed myself two “recovery days” week one.
One recovery day during week two.

You need less “recovery days” for muscle tissue repair; because im not training to get ripped or lose weight. I go for the sweat, chemicals, energy, heart rate up as suggested by my adhd councellor. Meds help, but diet, exercise, organization…are necessary too. (For me anyway.) Im still very early in treatment. :slight_smile:

I’ve been like that my whole life. I really didnt like the feeling of forcing myself to go. Now I don’t feel that way. (As of Sept 7th) because I have a bite sized routine now: 20 min sweat on the elliptical and 7 minutes of weights. The goal is not to get fit or lose weight; but to “power up the brain” boost my energy and releases happy chemicals. That energy lasts long enough to get thru my to-do list.

Feel free to give it a shot and see how you feel.

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Exactly! "Step one is to just get on the treadmill and turn it on. Then see how it goes :slight_smile:

I’d rather go sweat for 10 min a day, every day. Than not power up at all.
Its not how long you work out – its about not missing a day “don’t break the chain”.

So much easier to to 10 sit ups a day for 30 days…than 300 situps in a day for 3 days.

Less is somehow more! It adds up. and you kinda get the same result.

thank u for the warm welcome!

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I’ve been wondering lately whether I’m pushing it too hard because I’ve been feeling exhausted instead of energised after my gym sessions and it impacts my ability to do things almost as much.

It sounds like your 20 minutes on the eliptical are much more effective.

Also I’d love to get up and do it first thing in the morning so I can get it out of the way and shower but often I find that exercising makes me feel sick first thing in the morning so I’ve taken to doing afternoons instead but it really messes with my routine… Got any tips for me?

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Hmmm. i usually don’t gym till 11am or 1pm. I drink lots of water and sometimes sip an almond milk coffee as i walk to the gym. Going too hard might be causing nausea. So thats why moderate cardio (with a gradual sweat) on elliptical or rowing (my fav!) is a good warm up. I usually have a protein bar (10-20grams of protein) after a work out or a salad.

If im super hungry / ill have the bar b4 a work out.

I will hit the gym hard for an hour once a week. but the rest is always bite sized work-outs. warm-up…and the sweat usually kicks in at the 10 min mark.

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If i have a busy schedule, ill work out in the evening. its okay to alternate. any exercise is a health benefit.

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Thanks! Hmmm, bite sized and consistent seems to be the key takeaway here I think…

You’re doing awesome work :star_struck:

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Awesome! The key for me was to find ways to make exercise fun.

  • Scenic hikes

  • Play a game (a sport, Pokemon go, tag)

  • Have a workout buddy or two (accountabilibuddies exercise edition)

  • Make up stories while you exercise (I sure did do 1000 steps on a stair master so I could taste the mystical frozen treat at the top of the mountain - that ice cream was so delicious.)

  • Set fun goals (I decided I wanted to be able to save my friend if they ever fell of a cliff. Like the movie cliche :wink: so I worked up to being able to row their bodyweight)

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