The Return of the ADHD Review

I came across a podcast I just had to listen to because it was about the relationship between exercise and the brain, exercise as treatment for ADHD.  I have had an ongoing series in this blog about wellness and the struggle to maintain fitness and I try to throw in there from time to time how my mental health is affected.

Justine Ruotolo talks with Dr John Ratey about exercise and how it improves the Neuroplasticity  of our minds.  Justine and Dr. Ratey talk about rigorous exercise of the body as well as meditation (exercise of the mind) and how our brain is similar to a muscle.  Activities such as dance, martial arts, gymnastics, soccer… exercise that requires constant change of position, all help with brain health.  Dr. Ratey starts by talking about a patient he had in 1981 who had been a marathon runner.  The runner suffered an injury and subsequent depression, and began exhibiting signs of ADD.  His whole life he had essentially been self medicating with exercise.  They also talk about exercise to manage behavior in children by activating their brains instead of putting them on time out.  Exercise is great for all ages and for many disorders or dysfunctions, exercise could help with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

 

Treating with exercise is what I want to do. Exercise increases receptors of dopamine and norepinephrine, and is good for all of us, not just for treating mental of physical illness but for applying our brain and body the way they are designed to be used.  Too easily we get sucked into other dopamine triggers like video games, alcohol, etc., which can damage our brains instead of strengthen them.  Exercise is great for treating aggression, depression, self discipline, self respect, as well as developing our neuroplasticity.

If you want to listen to the podcast, you can find it here.  For more about Justine Ruotolo, click here.

Recommended reading related to this topic:

Spark

 

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Wellness Wagon: Week 13

it’s a short one, this week.

13 weeks of exercise, nutrition, and smoking cessation.  I am 20 lbs lighter now, and still working at it.  I just completed a “Biggest Loser” challenge at work, and I think I’ve finally developed sufficient nutrition habits to maintain a healthier lifestyle.  The struggle is still real to get out and exercise regularly.  I’ve committed to my kids to take them out running once a week, to help reinforce my own efforts as well as to start developing good habits for them. I am still not at 100% from being sick, but I’m close.

 

See you next week!

Wellness Wagon: Week 8

So It’s week 8.  8 weeks ago I weighed 213 pounds.  I committed to losing weight for the second time this year. I made it down to 193 the first time, and I’m down to 198 now with 6 weeks to go.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that we had a couple of going away celebrations at work with pizza and donuts and I definitely got a little crazy.  I’m back up over 200 lbs and  full of regret.  I have 5 days until Wednesday’s weigh in though, so hopefully I can run it off.

8 Weeks ago tonight I smoked my last cigarette. I have to say, I figured it would be no big deal because I was such a light smoker to begin with.  Since then I’ve really started having serious cravings though.  Especially if I’m drinking.  So, it’s been 5 days since my last drink.  I’m not sure if this is me biting the bullet, but for now, I’ll keep track and we’ll see how long I make it with no alcohol.  But, yeah – 8 weeks, no smoking!

Final note: The end goal for all of this is to get in shape and complete another Tough Mudder, this time completing all the obstacles.  Because obstacles require a person to literally pull their own weight (literally), I want to get down to 180lbs by 2017.  if I can get to 190 by September, that will be a reasonable goal.  So now it’s time to start focusing a bit on the future, not just the present.  What is going to motivate me to keep going after this weight loss challenge is over?  I can’t just fall off the wagon again.  So now it’s not about finishing the challenge, but moving forward to the next goal.

toughmudder

Weakness and Wellness

Many people who have been reading this blog recently know that I have a weekly wellness update to help hold myself accountable.  I thought it would be a good idea to expand on things that are difficult during this transition.

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way.  I have ADHD, hence the existence of this blog.  So of course, developing an exercise routine has been at the forefront of my frustration.  So, how do I cope with this?  I must have a semi-functional process because exercise is the primary way I manage my ADHD symptoms.

  • accept the fact that I am going to break from whatever routine I set up.  it’s going to happen.  It’s a weakness.  Get over it.
  • include enough movement and/or fun activity in my day to ensure I get some level of calorie burn higher than just sitting at a desk all day.
    • I have hand weights at work, 10lbs each, that I can do curls with.
    • I can walk on my lunch break.
    • I can take the kids for a bike ride when I get home.
  • This does not mean I should skip a meal.  That’s not to say I haven’t gone that route, but it’s bad so don’t do it.

So here we are.  Meals…  Continue reading

Wellness Wagon: Week 5

I’m still on the wagon! 5 weeks cigarette free.  I think we all knew that was coming.  I broke down and ate a handfull of oreos the other day. McDonald’s for lunch yesterday (jalapeño McChicken=delicious!).

I ran twice last week, and 5 miles again this morning. It was grueling though. Definitely will be a “once a week” distance for a while.  The De Kalb Corn Classic is coming up and I have to decide if I’m going to do the 3k fun run or bite the bullet and do the 10k…

ADHD Review – Miss ADD: Transcending the Effects of ADHD in a Relationship

It’s time!  July’s ADHD review is in.  This month there were a few podcasts that resonated with me.  While I would never say any one is better than another, this month we’ll take a look at Justine Ruotolo’s “Miss ADD” podcast.  Justine has been an ADHD coach for 20 years.  She leads a couple of support groups in the L.A. area, and hers was the very first podcast/broadcast I ever participated in.

Miss ADD: Transcending the Effects of ADHD in a Relationship

Mary and Dave start by talking about how they met and fell in love.  Justine then asked how they realized ADHD was a thing, and that it might have been affecting their relationship.  How did Mary accept that David has ADHD?  By the way, their daughter has it too!  They are both certified behavioral analysts which really makes this interesting.  Our ADHD is a gift but it is not perfect and there are sometimes issues we have to overcome and the show explores how this is done.

 

Mary and David speak of the covenant of their marriage, and how prayer and their devotion to each other mix with their analytical approach and allow them to separate the symptoms from the person with ADHD. They also talk about raising their ADHD daughter using their faith and experiences to help.

 

There’s more, and you’ll have to listen to get it all!  I hope you enjoy it 🙂

 

The Wellness Wagon: Week 3

Well kids,

I’m 3 weeks cigarette free.  Still not seeing it as a huge accomplishment but making the statement helps me commit.

I ran 2 days last week, for a total of 5 miles.  my diet was all over the place, but overall I lost 3 pounds.  Still drinking pretty regularly.  I suppose that will be the last thing to go now that I’ve actually started to progress toward the “healthy lifestyle” I want…

I’m actually thinking of uploading Pokemon go to my phone and a tablet to get the kids out walking with me… could be interesting?